Drug pricing reform expected to be biggest drag on biopharma in 2020; Beam upsizes IPO offering
→ US President Trump‘s State of the Union address may have visibly elicited the ire of Speaker Nancy Pelosi but he did emphasize again the need for bipartisan legislation to lower drug prices. A survey conducted by GlobalData showed that 49% of global industry respondents believe that drug pricing and reimbursement constraints will have the greatest negative impact on the pharmaceutical industry this year.
“This response is not surprising, especially since 2020 kicked off with drug companies in the US again raising prices for several hundred drugs. Compared to last year when the average increase was around 6.3%, the increase in 2020 is on average about 5%,” said Bonnie Bain, global head/EVP of healthcare operations & strategy at GlobalData in a statement. “This increase, while lower than 2019, is still high considering that there have been several high-profile initiatives in the US to lower drug costs.”
→ Gene editing company Beam Therapeutics, founded by pioneers Feng Zhang, David Liu and Keith Joung, has upsized its IPO offering. It now plans to raise more than $148 million by offering 9.3 million shares in the range of $15 to $17, commanding a fully diluted market value of $830 million, according to Renaissance Capital. Previously it had planned to offer 6.3 million shares in the same range.
→ A small eye-focused gene therapy developer founded by Peter Widdowson — the man behind Cambridge spinout Quethera that was swallowed by Astellas in 2018 — has launched with £2.5m of seed funding. The company, Ikarovec, was injected with funds from UK investors UKI2S, LifeArc and Parkwalk.