The Beauty of Biotech
I have lived through many medical and scientific advances in my life, and we have
featured numerous ones in these pages. It continues to astound me that, just as we
seem to be coming to the end of one era in our industry (it wasn’t long ago that we
were talking about the patent cliff), another emerges to evince the creativity, innovation and dedication of the people we work with.
Biotech has been exploding these last few years. Despite the relative difficulty of de-
veloping biologic entities, processes and devices, it’s hard to keep track of how many
are being announced regularly. Single-cell genomics have put a complete Human
Cell Atlas within reach, gene therapy is becoming a reality, and breakthroughs in immune-oncology are
moving so fast it is hard to keep up with all the companies. That’s just a peek into advances in biotech,
and so our report in this issue about biotech companies is less surprising, considering the cornucopia of
inventory that’s coming our way.
The biotech IPO market was strong, with AnaptsysBio posting a 571% gain, the best-performing IPO
in a decade. This success was largely due to its first-in-class IL- 33 inhibitor that could become a major
new treatment option for people with atopic dermatitis. Argenx took a leap by virtue of its products to
treat patients with cancer and severe autoimmune diseases. Biotech IPOs were the key component of the
healthcare VC-backed IPOs.
Overall, 2017 revenues for the top 50 doubled their increase from 2016, and 86% of the list had a revenue increase. This is good news—not just for investors and the market in general, but for all the patients
who will be impacted down the road by the staggering list of innovations this success represents. Yet
another reason to be proud of the industry we work in every day.
And always, please keep the feedback coming. It all goes to making the magazine better for all of us.
Cari Kraft, Publisher
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