Did you know what industry sector finished second to Silicon Valley for Venture Capital startup funding in 2018?
Pharmaceutical and biotech startups!!
Venture capitalists invested $131 billion into US-based start-ups in 2018, where Pharmaceutical and biotech start-ups accrued well over $20 billion, a funding first in the past 10 years. The pharmaceutical and biotech sector also saw an increase last year for the total number of deals for startup funding with 1,308 deals in all. Also, biopharma financings tend to be larger sum investments with more than half of this sector’s capital investments in 2018 coming from rounds of $50 million or more.
Is this trend still happening? In the first 6 months of 2019, Venture Capital funding is down from 2018 levels; however, it is on track to be the second highest year ever for pharmaceutical and biotech funding with a higher number of total financial deals so far this year at midpoint in 2019.
Why the surge? The driver for the Venture Capitalists and their funding is the expansive development for FDA-regulated prescription medicines in the startup space which are groundbreaking advancements in medical technology. This great time of application of innovated science and technology has altered how we approach, design, and treat diseases.
For instance, machine learning and artificial intelligence are being applied to genomics for better drug discovery targets and outcomes and for streamlined costs. Development structures are being implemented and are helping to bring new drug concepts and treatments into reality more effectively and efficiently than before. Specific targeted antibodies and small or “nano” molecule technologies are a hallmark of many startup mission statements. We see the development of an abundance of novel therapeutics that can remarkably harness and direct the immune system in patients.
In addition to this, we are witnessing an expansion of tumor DNA sequencing and genetic profiling, circulating tumor cells and ctDNA analysis, pharmacokinetics advancements, better application of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics in clinical trials, and direct tissue tumor microenvironment testing. These assays reveal the “scene of the crime” in cancer allowing for the development of tailored precision medicine and giving hope to personalized therapies and better patient outcomes.
Today’s medical advancements and medical evolution have reached a critical mass, culminating in opportunity after opportunity of novel concepts and therapeutics with greater precision to treat and cure disease in patients. This progress is intrinsically founded on three simple facts: researchers and clinicians working closely together for the patient today and tomorrow, our trust and use of technology to see where it takes us, and a better understanding of human genetics as it relates to pathology.