Investor sentiment, HCQ redux and attacking AMR: a BioCentury Podcast

Driven by massive inflows that are expected to continue over the next quarter, biotech stocks have rebounded from the COVID-driven market declines of early this year with a force that has put shares up year to date. On the latest edition of the BioCentury This Week podcast, BioCentury editors discuss investor sentiment and product launches heading into 2H20, the possibility of a second Emergency Use Authorization for hydroxychloroquine and a $1 billion fund to support companies developing products that combat antimicrobial resistance.

Associate Editor Stephen Hansen says investors expect the surge of inflows into biotech to continue over the next quarter as the sector is viewed as a top defensive pick in a struggling global economy that is unlikely to improve until the first COVID-19 vaccines roll out, or until therapeutics that make a meaningful difference gain approval (see “Biotech a Top Sector for Investors”; “Will Generalists Stay?”).

The broad interest in the sector means capital markets are likely to remain active even in the face of the upcoming U.S. presidential election, Hansen says. Campaign rhetoric in presidential elections typically makes investors wary.

Editor in Chief Simone Fishburn discusses how industry is adjusting to commercial “virtual” product launches, and which companies’ launches are exceeding expectations (see “Sizing Up Commercial Launches”).

Fishburn and Washington Editor Steve Usdin also discuss President Donald Trump’s latest call to authorize hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn’s options for navigating the issue (see “FDA Credibility on the Line”).

In other infectious disease news, 23 pharmas banded together last week to create a $1 billion fund to provide bridges from Phase II to approval for biotechs trying to advance products that combat antimicrobial resistance. But according to Usdin, the AMR Action Fund will be a bridge to nowhere unless solutions are implemented for market failures that have bankrupted public biotechs with approved antibiotics and starved the sector of VC funding (see “Pharmas to Invest $1 Billion in Biotechs to Fight AMR”).

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