It’s been a roller-coaster year in biopharma. The Food and Drug Administration set a new record for drug approvals, and investors bought a record number of biotech initial public offerings. But the performance of those IPOs has been mixed and the most closely followed biotech stock index is negative for the year. For all the volatility on the business side of biotech, the industry’s ability to translate science into new medicines marches on — for now.
The end of the year also offers an opportunity: To determine the best biopharma CEO of the year. As in the past, this process is about more than just whimsy. I pored over spreadsheets, dug deep into medical journals, stared at stock charts, and consulted others while coming up with a list of finalists. A few worthy candidates didn’t make the cut.