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The BioPharma Dive Outlook on 2021

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Note from the editor

The rapid development of effective coronavirus vaccines stands out as one of the biopharmaceutical industry's greatest accomplishments, albeit one funded by a great deal of government money.

Few stories in 2020 were more important than the work that led to the remarkable successes of Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna and several of their peers. That's likely to be true in this year, too, as a second wave of companies aim to prove their shots can help clear the path out of the pandemic.

Aside from vaccines, there's a whole lot of activity going on elsewhere in biotech and pharma that could shape the course of this year. Dealmaking, which slowed considerably as the pandemic took hold, picked back up in the second half of last year with a handful of notable acquisitions. Experts the rally to continue, though large pharmaceutical companies may find young biotechs less desperate for cash after a record year of venture and public market fundraising.

In gene therapy, the field is looking for a reset after a series of setbacks renewed old questions about the one-time treatments. A deep and broad pipeline of advancing treatments could help spark a rebound.

Key clinical trial readouts are also on the horizon for Vertex and Biogen, the latter of which is awaiting the FDA's verdict on a controversial and closely watched Alzheimer's drug.

Here's what to watch as the year in biotech and pharma gets underway.

Ned Pagliarulo Lead Editor

5 trends in biotech dealmaking to watch in 2021

10 key clinical trials to watch in the first half of 2021

5 questions facing gene therapy in 2021

5 questions facing the FDA in 2021

5 FDA approval decisions to watch in the 1st quarter

The BioPharma Dive Outlook on 2021

M&A appears to be ticking higher after a slow 2020, while a series of setbacks has renewed questions around gene therapy. Several key clinical trial readouts also loom. Here's what to watch in biotech and pharma this year.

included in this trendline
  • Key trends in biotech dealmaking to watch in 2021
  • The clinical trials and FDA approval decisions to watch in the first half of the year
  • Top questions facing gene therapy and the FDA this year
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Produced by our team of award-winning journalists, these Outlooks can help businesses navigate the uncertain road ahead in 2021.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.