It’s not all doom and gloom in the biopharma sector, say industry experts n a State of the Industry discussion at BWB 2023.

BPI Staff

October 12, 2023

20 Min View
Reasons to be cheerful? Experts discuss state of the industry in 2023

Date: Oct 12, 2023

Duration: 20 Min

A fragmented biotech economy, a post-COVID comedown, and a critical shortage of workers. But it’s not all doom and gloom, as industry experts explained in a State of the Industry discussion at BWB 2023.

BioProcess Insider’s regular look at the current wellbeing of the biopharma industry and the macro-economic factors affecting the drug development and manufacturing supply chain took place on the Main Stage at Biotech Week Boston last month.

The event commenced with a presentation on M&A and capacity trends from Andrew Harmon, Strategic Consulting at Latham BioPharm Group, before ex-regulator and industry stalwart Jeffrey Baker, and Renaud Jacquemart, CEO at Omnium Global, came on stage to open up the discussion.


The full discussion (available below) meandered the various storms and headwinds hitting the industry, and while it has been a bleak landscape over the past couple of years – dried up biotech funding channels and limited M&A, for example – the panel was mostly optimistic for the future.

“Money’s hard to come by right now,” said Jacquemart. “We’re seeing companies that are six months behind doing payroll, where the employees stay because they have the feeling that they are stuck, and it’s the same everywhere. They are sourcing money from bizarre places [through] complex financial assemblies, and that’s slowing down the progress into clinical.”

Harmon noted all industries have felt the effects of the economic downturn, driven in part by the pandemic, but biopharma and biotech are “pretty resilient.” However, the current slump is “a bit more than just your average up and down,” compounded by workforce shortages and supply chain issues. This is “really putting a dampener both on the innovation cycle, slowing timelines, [and on] appetite for investment.”

Baker brought up the first – but not the last – respite to the bleakness painted by moderator Dan Stanton (managing editor of this publication) by reflecting on the fragmented nature of the biopharma economy.

“There are areas that are challenged, [yet] there are areas that are aggressively and rapidly expanding. There are areas that were crushed under the unexpected burdens of COVID [but] there are areas which have benefited extraordinarily.” He added: “There’s a swirl of a very complex value realization ecosystem. And frankly, I think it’s a very exciting time.”

Jacquemart concluded: “The road is going to be a little rocky at first, but we have all the good fundamental ingredients. Technologies are ready. People are motivated. We just got to get through this downturn.”

Fill out the form below to watch the full discussion now.

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