Q2 2019 Report: Global Trends in Biopharma Transactions

Locust Walk is a global life science transaction firm. Our integrated team-based approach across capabilities, geographies, and industry segments delivers the right products, the right partners, and the most attractive sources of capital to get the right deals done for biopharma and medtech companies.

Each quarter, Locust Walk deal team members compile key statistics and trends on strategic transactions and financings. Our Q2 2019 Report: Global Trends in Biopharma Transactions applies the latest data to analyze current activities in the life science deal landscape.

In this report, you can find an overview and analysis of the following across the biopharma markets in the US, Europe, and Asia (Japan and China):

  •  Key performance indicators for the biopharma market
  • IPO and private financing activity and performance
  • Deal activity for strategic partnership and M&A
  • A look ahead and our predictions of the future

A summary of key findings:

In the US 

  • Biopharma indices fell in Q2 2019, following widespread investor fear of the implications of the 2020 presidential race on pharma
  • Biopharma IPOs fully recovered from the government shutdown in Q1 2019, with 17 companies going public and raising ~2,000M – the highest single quarter total for the past 3 years
  • Private financings slowed down in both total deal volume and value in Q2 2019
  • Licensing activity slowed, but M&A deals picked up as companies opted for larger strategic deals

In Europe

  • In Q2 2019, private investment has been robust, reflecting a favorable environment for biopharma entrepreneurs and strong interest in building novel innovative biotech companies in Europe
  • Many European VCs have raised new funds to be invested in Europe, which will benefit local biotech companies and entrepreneurial scientists. We expect more companies with innovative science to be started and the size of EU Series A financing rounds to increase to position the companies for greater success
  • While deal volume has remained low, in-line with previous years, Q2 2019 represents a significant increase in capital raised on public markets

In Japan

  • Despite the deep plunge due to “SanBio Shock” in the end of January 2019, shares of the top 40 Japanese biotech companies ended 1H +8.5%
  • Deals for commercial stage/near commercial stage assets and platform technologies have been active for this quarter
  • Two Japanese bio ventures successfully out-licensed with major US and Japan pharma companies with potential of >$450M deal size
  • Pharma should still expect premium pricing for innovation – KYMRIAH® was priced at US$304.5K after its approval in February

In China

  • China health care sector stock market remains low in Q2 2019
  • 2 biopharma and 2 CRO companies went public in Hong Kong, raising  $1,571M in total 
  • In-license deal volume remains stable, 20 in-license deals have been announced in Q2 2019
  • In June 2019, China officially launched Shanghai Exchange’s new Science and Technology Innovation Board (STIB) with news that 119 companies, including 27 biopharma, have already signed up to IPO on the new exchange

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