2011 predictions on biotech from Steven Burrill

Steven Burrill

As you’ve probably read, Steven Burrill’s predictions regarding the biotech industry go over at MedCity News the way former Detroit Lions President Matt Millen’s football forecasts go over in Michigan.

Nonetheless, it’s notable when the renowned biotech specialist, venture capitalist, author and keynote speaker offers his thoughts on currents events in life sciences and the future of the industry next year (even if it is to promote his upcoming book: Biotech 2011-Life Sciences: Looking Back to See Ahead).

Burrill believes the financial crisis has triggered changes in healthcare that have biotech executives “writing their new ‘play book’ in response.”


With that in mind, here are some of Burrill’s thoughts on 2011:

  • Biotech and the capital markets: Expect to see the biotech industry continue to outperform the general markets as the financing environment continues to improve in 2011.
  • Biotech IPOs: Expect at least 25 biotech IPOs, possibly more, in the United States.
  • Capital: Financing – now at about $15 billion annually – and its market cap – at about $360 billion – will remain the same.
  • Partnering: Biotech-pharma partnerships will embrace “shared risk” and biotech can forget about the days of large upfront payments from pharma companies. Collaborations with China, India and Latin America will also increase.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: Big pharma will finally start to gobble up biotechs. In particular, “Sanofi will finally seal the deal and acquire Genzyme and this will usher in several other marquee acquisitions of blue chip biotech companies.”
  • Pharma Restructuring: Job cuts and restructuring will continue.
  • Healthcare reform: The federal government, through Medicare and Medicaid, will create new regulatory and compensatory rules and, as a result, challenges for healthcare providers. Also, government will create “new regulations governing the development of biosimilars.”
  • Patent battles: The legal battle over the patentability of genes will heat up; uncertainty will continue to swirl around stem cells but regenerative medicine will be hot.
  • Clean tech will boom: The market will not only embrace green – from solar power to wind power to the next generation biofuels – but also technologies that improve energy efficiency and a clean environmental.

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