The Technologies Set to Transform Healthcare

July 14, 2014

Pharmaceutical Executive

The promise of precision medicine is beginning to bear fruit as deadly diseases are made treatable, doctors use genetic information to guide treatment decisions,

The promise of precision medicine is beginning to bear fruit as deadly diseases are made treatable, doctors use genetic information to guide treatment decisions, and the convergence of information, communications, and biological technology reinvents the practice of medicine.

The arrival of this new age of medicine has captured the imagination of investors, who are pouring record investments into these emerging areas. Privately held life-sciences companies have raised $7 billion through the first five months of 2014, representing a 36.2% increase compared to the same period last year. Investment in early-stage companies drove the increase as seed, series A and series B investment jumped 182% during the period to $2.9 billion. The surge in funding is going into innovative areas such as gene therapy, immune-oncology, and digital healthcare technologies that promise to move the needle on the delivery of care and improve outcomes for patients with once-intractable diseases.

As Big Pharma shifts its resources away from internal R&D to externalizing innovation, investors see opportunities in backing companies with cutting-edge technologies. And venture investors, boosted by liquidity from the robust capital markets, are backing startups up with adequate funding to allow them to validate their technologies rather than needing to constantly seek new capital.

Over the past year, investors have pumped more than $2 billion into gene therapy, immunotherapies, and digital-health companies, including more than $1.3 billion invested in startups and $819 million raised by nine companies through initial public offerings . Almost every big pharmaceutical company with an oncology program is developing cancer immunotherapies, while companies focused on genetically inherited diseases are exploring gene-therapy solutions.

For the rest of this article by G. Steven Burrill, click on BioPharm International’s website here.