Survey: biotechs adapting to COVID-19 era, optimistic about 2021

SURVEY: The pandemic persists, but biotechs predict deal-making rebound and small revenue impact in 2021

As biotechs look ahead to 2021, they may not see an end to the pandemic but they are optimistic that virtually all business activities will rebound to some extent, reflecting a net positive outlook.

A survey of 73 companies, mostly biotechs and CROs, conducted by BioCentury and McKinsey & Co. from June 17 to June 30, finds many are taking action to adjust clinical trials to pandemic conditions, with a doubling of the number of respondents adopting digital technologies since the pandemic started. The broad movement raises hope that clinical development will face fewer disruptions next year.

The companies expressed widespread support for the idea that deal-making activity will be up in 2021, with many getting ready to resume their own deal-making in 2H20.

Respondents who had delayed fund-raising said they expect to resume plans soon as well.

Results were presented in a webinar on July 8.

Concerns still loom, largely due to the uncertainty of the environment. A major resurgence of COVID-19 cases could again destabilize markets and further hamper clinical trials. As the industry adopts digital tools, there is no guarantee that new clinical processes, remote partnering or virtual drug launches will go smoothly.

“We are used to that in the sector, drug development is not for the faint of heart.”

Bahija Jallal, Immunocore

Many companies are forecasting a reduction to their top line in 2021, though most believe the decrease won’t be more than 10%.

Only a small fraction of

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