Biopharma's COVID Capital Comeback
What a difference a few months can make – especially during a pandemic.
Heading into 2020, biopharma looked like it would be typecast in its typical election year role: the big business scapegoat for everything that’s wrong in health care. There had been the usual big Phase 3 trial failures. While several CAR-T therapeutics have been approved in the U.S., exciting treatment modalities such as CRISPR hadn’t yet made their way out of the clinic, let alone changed the outlook for patients facing life-threatening disease. And, before Nov. 3rd rolled around, there was sure to be a new round of congressional fights and posturing by elected leaders over their biggest biopharma hobbyhorse: drug pricing.
Enter COVID-19. Just as the novel coronavirus has unexpectedly changed almost all aspects of our lives and dominated every public debate, it has rapidly upended perceptions of drug companies. Foreign and domestic, startup to industry incumbent, biopharma is now seen as the source of potential vaccines and treatments that can restore society to something approaching normality. And, in one fell swoop, an industry that was looked upon critically or even disdainfully has acquired a positive sheen. Many look to biopharma as a savior set to bring back our previous way of life.