As most sectors struggled to navigate past a damaging pandemic, biotech continued to show promise through public listings.
While 2020 might have been characterised by the onset of the pandemic and wide-ranging carnage for almost every sector, biotech emerged as one of the best performers as investors looked to direct capital towards companies seen to be in the forefront of saving the world as the globe looked to navigate the balance between saving lives and livelihoods. The success of the sector is evidenced by the whopping $3.19 billion raised through the top 10 initial public offerings during the past year. The trend is expected to extend into 2021 with biotechs such as Instil Bio, Finch Therapeutics and Connect Biopharma kicking of the year by also heading to public markets.
Leading the pack for 2020 has been the IPO of a little-known Canadian company called AbCellera Biologics which managed to raise close to half a billion dollars. Like many others, AbCellera’s raise was also boasted by its work surrounding Covid-19 after it partnered with global giant Eli Lilly to develop antibodies against the virus. Notably, the list excludes Royalty Pharma which technically had the largest biotech IPO for 2020, at $2.2 billion managed to get a $16.7 billion valuation. While the biotechs included in the list are focused on Research & Development activities, Royalty Pharma’s business model is based on royalties paid by pharmaceutical companies