Life Sciences Leaders Optimistic About Funding Prospects but Cautious About Growth Outlook, New Research Finds

Michael Lerner (Photo: Businesswire)

NEW YORK– Lowenstein Sandler announced today the release of Funding Life Sciences: Where the Opportunities and Resources Are in 2021 and Beyond, a report based on survey results that gauge the sentiment of executives at life sciences startups and early-stage companies regarding the current state of investment in the sector.

Coauthored by Michael J. Lerner, partner and Chair, Life Sciences Group, and Steven M. Skolnick, partner and Chair, Capital Markets and Securities Practice, and Vice Chair, Transactions & Advisory Group, the survey reveals the specific impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the industry, from delaying clinical trials to shifting life sciences leaders’ focus to cutting costs and shoring up balance sheets.

Assessing respondents’ outlook on the ability to raise capital in the year ahead, survey data suggest that life sciences entrepreneurs and leaders remain optimistic about their abilities to obtain funding in 2021, particularly from major pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

That’s despite the fact that startup leaders take a dim view of the industry’s‒and their own‒growth prospects in the coming year, according to the survey.

Lowenstein’s survey gauged the perspectives of 122 C-suite and other executive-level professionals working in the pharmaceutical, health care services, biotechnology, and medtech and medical device industries.

Key findings include:

  • Companies suspended most clinical trials in the spring, though they are preparing to restart those trials. Most respondents (80 percent) reported at least some supply chain disruptions, which they expect to continue into next year.
  • While the trials were paused, companies focused on building partnerships (27 percent) and investing in digital solutions (25 percent).
  • Nearly half of respondents (49 percent) believe investors will be as active or even slightly more active in the life sciences space in the coming year as they were in the last year.
  • Well over half of life sciences entrepreneurs and leaders believe big pharma and biotech companies will increase their investments–either by providing funding or licensing technologies from small to mid-size life sciences companies to fuel their pipelines.