It’s the time of year when the Fierce Biotech team sticks its shovel into fresh soil to bury another year’s worth of biotechs. Though the list is ritualistic, it’s hardly ceremonious. It marks the difficult decision many drug developers had to make after funds ran dry or scientific leads reached dead ends or both. And, in the industry’s current financing environment, an exorbitant amount of biotechs have reached this point.
All told, we tallied 22 biotechs that shuttered this year or disclosed plans to do so, more than three times as many as last year’s seven companies. Maybe it’s the chickens coming home to roost after private financing remained relatively bullish in 2022 despite the dampening public marketplace or, rather, executives being quicker to pull the plug. Regardless, the number of biotechs calling it quits reiterates just how difficult it can be to achieve and maintain success.
There wasn’t a consistent theme among the biotechs that landed in the graveyard this year, with biotechs spanning disease areas, modalities and whether they were private or public. Some went out with a bang, others with a whimper.