SAN FRANCISCO — What should be a triumphant return to the global biotech industry’s biggest annual event, “JPM Week,” after a two-year hiatus is turning as gloomy as Bay Area weather, with industry executives forecasting economic troubles in the year ahead.
STAT asked more than 100 biotech and pharma executives, investors, and other insiders how they’re feeling about the state of the sector heading into 2023 and on the eve of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. The biggest takeaway: Nearly 70% of respondents said financing — raising venture capital, launching an IPO, or selling additional stock to further fund R&D and other operations — will be a headwind in 2023. Eighty percent of biotech insiders told STAT that macroeconomic factors were also likely to pose challenges.
“I’m assuming that it’s going to suck,” said ARCH Venture Partners co-founder Bob Nelsen, when asked for his view on the biotech financial outlook. Nelsen usually throws a big party during JPM Week — the industry’s largest and most important business and networking meeting, which in the past has served as the venue for multibillion-dollar acquisitions, strategy sessions, and company launches. But this year, there’ll be no party, Nelsen told STAT; he’s just not in the celebratory mood.
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