What started as a sluggish public market has metastasized to affect other types of financing. Debt fell off a cliff; partnerships are at previously unseen lows; mergers and acquisitions are scarce. With the initial public offering window close to shut, a measly four companies floated in the public markets; private equity, however, remained strong. Venture capital firms continued to raise money, promising continued investment for startups — and at the end of June, Arch announced the raising of a new $3 billion fund. The sizzle of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) — a way of raising money through an initial public offering (IPO) to buy another company that is less burdensome than a traditional IPO — has fizzled; just one had taken place by June 1, compared with 17 announced over the same period last year. Startups developing bispecific antibodies, messenger RNA vaccines, gene therapies and cell therapies all raised large rounds.

Stock market performance

More of the same in 2Q22 as in 1Q22, as biotech stock prices hemorrhaged along with the other exchanges.

Global biotech initial public offerings

After a woeful quarter for public floats in 1Q22, 2Q22 actually got worse.

Number of IPOs

  1Q21 2Q21 3Q21 4Q21 1Q22 2Q22
Asia-Pacific 15 15 14 13 9 2
Europe 13 13 3 8 4 0
Americas 27 26 27 19 8 2
  1. Source: BCIQ BioCentury Online Intelligence

Global biotech financing

Partnerships are starting to show same malaise as other funding sources.

PIPE, private investment in public equity. Source: BCIQ BioCentury Online Intelligence.

Global biotech venture capital investment

Private investment remained steady … for now.

Number of rounds

  1Q21 2Q21 3Q21 4Q21 1Q22 2Q22
Asia-Pacific 35 19 26 27 28 30
Europe 55 51 42 52 47 36
Americas 159 117 86 111 145 101
  1. Source: BCIQ BioCentury Online Intelligence

Top 10 venture financings of 2Q22

Company (lead investors) Amount raised ($ millions) Round Date completed Location Focus
Tessera Therapeutics (Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Alaska Permanent Fund, Altitude Life Sciences and others) 300 C 19 April United States Gene editing and writing using retrotransposases to insert RNA sequences into ‘safe-harbor’ retrotransposons in the genome
Kriya Therapeutics (Patient Square Capital, Bluebird Ventures, CAM Capital and others) 270 C 16 May United States AAV gene therapy encoding IGF1 and GLP-1R agonist for type I and II diabetes. Other programs in glycogen storage disorders, oncology and ophthalmology.
Upstream Bio (OrbiMed Advisors, Manuha, Access Biotechnology and others) 200 A 2 June United States Monoclonal antibodies against thymic stromal lymphopoietin in eosinophilic and non-eosinophilic asthma
Retro Biosciences (undisclosed investors) 180 Uncharacterized 6 April United States Lifespan-extending programs using cellular reprograming and plasma-based screens as well as autophagy-targeting compound
BostonGene (NEC Capital Solutions, Impact Investment Capital, Japan Industrial Partners) 150 B 6 April United States Patient-oriented interface integrating personal ‘omics and imaging data analysis to identify neoantigens, rank best suited combinations of immunotherapies and assess eligibility for trials
MOMA Therapeutics (Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Section 32, Pavilion Capital and others) 150 B 10 May United States Small molecules targeting enzyme ATPase domains in DNA and RNA helicases, chromatin remodelers and transmembrane transporters for oncology, inflammation and rare diseases
Aspen Neuroscience (GV, Lyfe Capital, Revelation Partners and others) 147.5 B 9 May United States Autologous iPS cell-derived neuron-like cells for replacement cell therapy in Parkinson’s disease
Doma Pharmaceuticals (Beijing BioCytogen, China Life Private Equity Firm, PICC Capital) 142.7 A 1 June China Umbrella corporation for incubating several companies; initial programs developing bispecific ADCs for cancer
RVAC Medicines (CBC Group, Pavilion Capital, EDBI, GS Holdings) 140 B 26 April Singapore Lipid nanoparticle-delivered mRNA vaccines and therapeutics with GMP manufacturing with a leading COVID-19 program
GI Innovation (SK, Yuhan, iMarketKorea and others) 134 Uncharacterized 21 April South Korea Bispecific antibodies in immune-oncology and allergies
  1. AAV, adeno-associated virus; ADC, antibody–drug conjugate; GLP-1R, glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor; GMP, good manufacturing practice; IGF-1, insulin-like growth factor 1; iPS cell, induced pluripotent stem cell. Source: BCIQ BioCentury Online Intelligence

Mergers and acquisitions

Target Acquirer Deal focus Value ($ millions) Date announced
BioHaven Pharmaceuticals Pfizer Migraine therapies for commercialization 11,600 24 May
Turning Point Therapeutics Bristol Meyer Squibb Oncology pipeline and repotrectinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase ROS1 and neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase, drivers of non-small cell lung cancer and other advanced solid tumors 4,100 3 June
Sierra Oncology GlaxoSmithKline The late-stage targeted therapy momelotinib, an inhibitor of the BMP6/ACVR1/SMAD and IL-6/JAK/STAT3 pathways, resulting in restored erythropoiesis in myelofibrosis 1,900 13 April
Antares Pharma Halozyme Therapeutics Auto-injector used in EpiPen and others 960 13 April
Checkmate Pharmaceuticals Regeneron The late-stage immuno-oncology asset vidutolimod, an agonist of toll-like receptor 9 delivered in a virus-like particle for potential use in multiple tumor types 250 19 April
CellPoint Galapagos Decentralized supply model for cell-based therapies 132 21 June
AboundBio Galapagos Fully human antibody libraries with different binder formats 14 21 June
Orphazyme KemPharm Arimaclomol, molecular chaperon activator for Niemann–Pick disease and other neurodegenerative diseases 12 15 May
Affinity DNA Genetic Technologies Direct-to-consumer genetic testing 0.683 16 May
Atrin Pharmaceuticals Aprea Therapeutics ATR inhibitors, as monotherapies and in combination with standard of care in phase 1/2a clinical trials in solid tumor malignancies Undisclosed 16 May
  1. ATR, ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related; ACVR1, activin A receptor type 1; BMP6, bone morphogenetic protein 6; IL-6, interleukin 6; JAK, Janus kinase; SMAD, suppressor of mothers against decapentaplegic; STAT3, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3. Source: BCIQ BioCentury Online Intelligence

Top 10 licensings/collaborations of 2Q22 by up-front cash

Researcher Partner Up-front cash ($ millions) Description
Dragonfly Therapeutics Gilead Science 300 Gilead and Dragonfly announce strategic research collaboration to develop natural killer cell engagers for oncology and inflammation
Intercept Advanz Pharma 405 Advanz Pharma acquires rights to commercialize Ocaliva (obeticholic acid) to treat liver disease outside the US
Cullinan Oncology Taiho Pharmaceuticals 275 Strategic collaboration to jointly develop and commercialize CLN-081/TAS6417, a pan-mutation EGFR inhibitor, and Taiho’s acquisition of Cullinan Pearl
Chimerix Emergent Biosolutions 225 Emergent BioSolutions to acquire exclusive worldwide rights to Tembexa (brincidofovir), the first FDA-approved smallpox oral antiviral for all ages
Repare Therapeutics Roche 125 Repare Therapeutics announces a worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Roche for camonsertib, an ATR inhibitor, for solid tumors
FG2 Shionogi 100 Shionogi and F2G enter strategic collaboration to develop and commercialize the new antifungal agent olorofim in Europe and Asia
BridgeBio Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) 90 BridgeBio announces exclusive license agreement with BMS to develop and commercialize BBP-398, a potentially best-in-class SHP2 inhibitor, for oncology
Precision Bioscience Novartis 75 Precision BioSciences announces an in vivo gene editing collaboration with Novartis to develop treatment for disorders including sickle cell disease
Shanghai Henlius Biotech Organon 73 Organon enters into a global license agreement to commercialize Henlius’s investigational Perjeta (pertuzumab) and Prolia/Xgeva (denosumab) biosimilar candidates
Immatics BMS 60 Immatics and BMS expand strategic alliance to develop γδ allogeneic cell-therapy programs
  1. EGFR, epidermal growth factor receptor; SHP2, src homology region 2. Source: BCIQ BioCentury Online Intelligence

Top IPOs of 2Q22

Company (principal underwriters) Amount raised ($ millions) Date completed Latest stage and focus Percent change in stock price (as of 7/5/2022) Exchange
HilleVax (J. P. Morgan, SVB Securities, Stifel, Nicolaus, Guggenheim Securities) 200 28 April Phase 2: bivalent VLP-based vaccine for norovirus infections −45 NASDAQ
PepGen (BofA Securities, SVB Securities, Stifel, Nicolaus, Wedbush PacGrow) 108 5 May Phase 1: arginine-rich cell-penetrating peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino antisense oligonucleotides for degenerative neuromuscular diseases −21 NASDAQ
Voronoi (Korea Investment and Securitues, Mirae Asset Securities) 62 24 June Phase 1: small-molecule kinase inhibitors and protein degraders NA KRX
Belite Bio (The Benchmark Co.) 40.6 3 May Phase 3: small-molecule retinal binding protein 4 antagonist to slow progression of dry AMD and Stargardt disease 256 NASDAQ
Microba Life Sciences (Bell Potter Securities, Canaccord Genuity (Australia)) 22.6 4 April Marketed (tools and services): metagenomics platform for connecting microbial genotype to human phenotype −44 ASK (Australia)
  1. AMD, age-related macular degeneration; VLP, virus like particle. Source: BCIQ BioCentury Online Intelligence