Any look ahead at expectations for biotech in 2019 needs to start with a brief recap of the past 12 months because — oh, boy — 2018 was a challenging, healthy, volatile, productive, frustrating, and abundant year. Most of all, it was weird.
A torrent of money poured into the biotech sector but the volume of merger-and-acquisitions dried up and stock prices fell. Initial public offerings set records but average returns were mediocre. The Food and Drug Administration approved more drugs in a single calendar year than ever before, but squabbles over pricing and reimbursement grew more intense. Commercial launches were hit or miss. The pace of scientific breakthroughs quickened but optimism was often overshadowed by macro fears about tariffs and looming trade wars.