Despite soaring stock prices and a few breakthrough new therapies, biotech can’t seem to keep investors enthralled. The flow of money into the sector has turned negative for 2017, marking the second straight year that Wall Street has pulled more cash out of biotech than it has put in.
According to the investment bank Raymond James, biotech is down $59 million on the year. And it could have been worse: If not for one massive week of inflows in June, biotech would be down more than $1.5 billion in 2017, according to Baird analyst Brian Skorney. That’s not as bad as 2016, when roughly $6.5 billion left the sector, but it marks an alarming trend.
Between 2012 and 2015, widely considered biotech’s heyday, more than $17 billion flowed into the sector, according to Raymond James. That cash helped scores of companies push their science forward and sparked biotech’s biggest IPO boom in history, providing returns for venture capitalists, who funneled the money back into startups to create what seemed like a virtuous — and lucrative — cycle.
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