Biotech in 2024: Opportunities, Trends & Challenges
The annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference is a key date in the industry calendar that is always met with reflection and anticipation.
Returning from the 42nd annual edition of the event, Chris Smyth, President of ICON Biotech, takes time out to provide insight into the operating environment facing biotechs in 2024 in this exclusive interview.
Highlighting several IPOs and acquisitions, Smyth flags increasing confidence in the sector, with the Index of Biotech stocks (XBI) having risen during the tail end of 2023 and into the beginning of 2024.
Smyth also points to a recent ICON Biotech survey, stating that 60% of biotech decision makers indicate they expect R&D spending to increase over the next two years.
“Our experience is that science is getting funded,” he states.
Smyth goes on to highlight the importance of not only securing, but also using capital in the most effective manner. Here, he cites the need for optimized trial designs, improved endpoint selection, and proactive and timely communications with regulators.
Challenges are a further point of discussion, the ICON Biotech survey revealing that clinical trials are cited as a major pain point at present. Going on to discuss how deep strategic relationships with clinical development partners can help alleviate these issues, Smyth also identifies several key therapeutic trends for 2024.
From progress in addressing Alzheimer’s and obesity to advances in AI and innovation in advanced cell and gene therapies, the CEO shares some highly insightful snippets.
“If you take the five years between 2017 and 2022, the FDA approved five gene therapies for rare genetic diseases, and yet last year alone we saw another five approvals for gene therapies,” he affirms.
Listen to the full interview to learn more about the key opportunities, trends and challenges facing Biotechs in 2024.