I wanted to say that this past Tuesday but it took me a few days to shake off the holiday hangover. Keeping with tradition there is a perfunctory obligation this time of year to do some "looking back", some "self-review" and some prognostications.
Let's get that out of the way.
2022 was a strange year.
Noting the previous 2 years’ monikers could best be described as "WTF" followed by "bizarre", perhaps "strange" is an improvement? Despite the desire for personal and professional self-evaluation and committing to new re-invention and resolutions, it’s going to be rather difficult time for major change. Just saying. If growth is on your list of resolutions you may want to wait another 6 months.
Things we know -
- The Fed will likely continue rate hikes for the foreseeable future
- 70’s style inflation will continue
- Costs will rise
- Many companies seeking cash on the public market will continue to sit on the sidelines.
Things we’re not so sure of -
- Labor market will continue to be, well… unexplainable. Record low unemployment, job shortages, layoffs in tech and high-growth companies.
- Downturn in IPOs may lead to more M&A activity over the next 12 months.
- If you’re sitting on top of a pile of cash there are deals to be had! If you’re not, there are hills to climb.
Getting’ up the great big hill
Despite the roller coaster ride of the past few years, according to the EY biotechnology report for 2022, the biotech industry has held steady and stayed the course. The reward is that many facets of the industry, despite the enormous obstructions brought on by COVID-19, have grown and thrived. Revenues have increased by nearly 60% over the past five years, biotech market capitalization has climbed by a remarkable 84%, investments have risen, and FDA drug approvals have soared from 35 in 2016 to 63 in 2021 (back to 36 this year - not too shabby!)
As we have discussed in past newsletters, the industry, just like many, still faces impediments, including supply chain disruption, the cash burning ways of biotech, a crazy job market leading to an inadequate talent pool for the growing necessary positions. Certainly challenges, but one door closes. . .
While the biotech IPO market has risen and then stalled inconsistently, R&D, fueled by the reining in of COVID, is the engine that continues to drive investment. Check out the full article here, along with super cool graphics.
Speaking of M&A activity, there were some doozies in the MedTech space that bore notice in case you weren’t paying attention.
According to McDermott and Bull, the top five are as follows:
- Oracle acquires Cerner ($28B!)
- Stryker acquires Vocera Communications ($3B)
- Thermo Fisher buys The Binding Site ($2.6B)
- Bain Capital buys Olympus Science-Optics Unit ($3B)
- Johnson and Johnson has acquired Abiomed ($16.6B)
PC: Photo by Artem Podrez
“Recognize”: to show appreciation of (achievement, service, merit, etc.), as by some reward, public honor, or the like. (dictionary.com)
So, I guess we all know the clichéd scenario, “Hey, you look nice today.”
“What do you mean? Do I not look nice all the time?”
With that, I accept the risk of asserting that it is important to recognize that the contributions and strides made by women in our industry (among many) are not exceptions but accepted as the rule.
Endpoints News has reported its 20 most exceptional women in Biopharma (WID) for 2022, an apparently nearly impossible task with over 500 nominations and likely untold others who are important participants in the Biotech and MedTech industries. Endpoints honorees are those recognized as “blazing trails in drug development.”
These insightful and influential women have made significant developments across a range of fields of study and development.
For their brief bios and links to more, click here.
Up and around the bend
PC: Photo by Steven Arenas
As the old gray one of 2022 sets out to exit and let the whippersnapper of 2023 take charge—geez, we were just getting to know ya, 22—we will be inundated with the year-in-review countdowns, the best ofs and worst ofs, and so on.
Really, though, right now can be viewed as a time of measured expectation—a little reflection, a little recalibration, and firm steps forward.
Most reports continue to offer wary optimism. The overall global economic situation retains its role as a potential spoiler. But expectations, as reported by Fitch Solutions, for the medical device industry see growth in 2023 to $203 billion. The sector has ridden out the past several stormy years, which makes it more adept at countering any obstacles forthcoming.
As stated earlier, the EY report has reasonable positive expectations for our industries.
Other positive predictions exist for the Biopharma and Biotech fields, including new methods of conducting trials, the use of improved technologies to drive lowered costs and accelerate startup times, and innovations by drug developers and vendors.
Bull or bear aside, I’m happy to be back. Good to see you all. Good tidings to us all toward a great 2023.
Very truly yours,
P.S. Always karate chop - never dance! Proximites know what I'm talking about.
Season 2 of Inventing Tomorrow Podcast is all about money for growing companies!
Main photo credit: Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV