Finance Watch: Second Quarter Begins With Solid Base For Biopharma VC, Shaky Ground For Acorda
First quarter VC investments in biopharma set high expectations for the second quarter; Acorda cuts jobs after patent litigation defeat, plus other strategic realignments; no new US IPOs, but Europe has three; and notable follow-on offerings.
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Acorda is cutting jobs to save $21m annually and otherwise lowering expenses for a total of $60m in reduced costs in 2020 to focus on marketing Inbrija, but looming overhead is $345m in debt due in 2021. Meanwhile, ex-US partners and company buyers appear nowhere in sight.
Acorda can't seem to catch a break. The Federal Circuit slapped down the company's last ditch effort to uphold its Ampyra patents and three days later the FDA postponed a decision on Inbrija, widening the gap between the entry of Ampyra generics and the launch of Acorda's new drug.
Seven biopharma IPOs launched in the US in January with an average return of 52.8%. The most recent was Sol-Gel's on Jan. 31, but the largest was a $128m offering by ARMO. Solid had the most controversial IPO, but it still gave investors a 70.7% return, contributing to the question: Is biotech in a bubble?