Covid-19 has been dominating the news for weeks on end, but what impact is the current pandemic having on biotech VC investments? Some key figures working in the field in Europe discussed their recent experiences, as well as advice for startups navigating this new funding challenge.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted us all in ways that were impossible to predict just a few months ago. In addition to its health impact, the virus has had a crushing economic impact on some sectors.
While it may not seem like a good time to be running a startup, the biotech and pharma industry is not faring as badly as other sectors. To begin with, there has been increased interest in investing in healthcare, because of Covid-19.
“People who didn’t care about healthcare now care about healthcare,” Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner at French life science VC firm Sofinnova Partners, told me.
Traditionally, the uncertain returns associated with biotech investing has put off some investors, but Papiernik believes that is actually an asset at the moment.
“For companies that have a top line that melts, that is putting them in very short-term difficulty. This is not exactly the case for life sciences, because biotech companies don’t make revenues on the top line for a very long period of time.”
A tricky time for some
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