The Emergence Of IO
The approval of first-generation checkpoint inhibitors, Merck’s Keytruda and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo in the second half of 2014, catalyzed a wave of deal-making, not only around other checkpoint inhibitors, but also for molecules and technologies that could offer synergistic benefits when used in combination with these drugs.
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The biopharma market has been highly active throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with a substantial focus on strategic alliances between 2020-H1 2021. Partnership deals present exciting liquidity and risk mitigation opportunities for early-stage companies. Small molecules still comprise the largest segment of partnered drugs, but alliances for other modalities are on the rise.
Outcome Capital analyzed transactional activity by the largest biopharmaceutical companies in the three-and-a-half-year period between January 2017 and June 2020 to reveal development and therapeutic areas trends.
There is a unique phenomenon being realized in immuno-oncology deal-making compared with other segments in the life sciences sector – an apparent uncoupling between risk and return on invested capital, as early assets provide similar liquidity to more mature assets.