2024 predictions: Thought leaders on finance and investment 

2024 predictions, road forward

DDW’s Megan Thomas spoke to experts from the drug discovery industry about their predictions on what 2024 holds for our sector. This is part of a series of predictions based on different themes, which include insight into the future for cancer and immunotherapy, as well as AI, ML and automation. Here, experts weigh in on financing and investment.  

Israel Mirsky, Director, Pharma Collective 

“The emerging narrative of decentralised science (DeSci) will be a major driver of the looming 2024 crypto bull market. Indeed, industry leaders like Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong (who co-founded Research Hub) and Binance’s Changpeng Zhao have announced that their next moves will involve the acceleration of the DeSci landscape.  

“As an extension of the decades-long Open Science movement, DeSci utilises blockchain technology to democratise and revolutionise scientific research and knowledge dissemination, impacting missions like drug manufacturing and public health funding. 

“As Pharma Collective begins its treasury raise, we’ve spoken to many investors who are particularly excited about the potential for DeSci to disrupt the global drug production market, which is currently valued at approximately $516 billion. Crypto is getting behind DeSci, and we’re witnessing a surge in investments in tokens linked to DeSci platforms, emerging primarily in the Ethereum and Cosmos ecosystems.” 

Ali Pashazadeh, CEO, Treehill Partners  

“It is likely that in 2024, there will be a continued paucity of capital across the life science and biopharma sectors. As a result, this will mean fewer clinical studies will be run until investors start to increase investment back to clinical development. With the reduced shots of goal, Treehill expects a greater degree of scrutiny on the studies which are run. This will hopefully lead to an improved probability of success into 2024, and more positive clinical results, which will mean that whilst fewer studies are run, more therapies will progress towards patients.” 

Mary Clark, CEO, Optimum Strategic Communications 

Optimum Strategic Communications conducted a 2024 survey of European life sciences venture capital (VC) investors. The survey, conducted in November and December 2023, found that most believe market conditions for life science companies will improve through 2024. 

Mary Clark, CEO, Optimum Strategic Communications, said: “Life sciences companies have been on a white-knuckle ride over the last few years, with soaring valuations during the pandemic followed by a painful crash. Optimum’s latest survey of European healthcare investors suggests that while the situation remains tough, sentiment finally appears to be turning a corner – with a majority of respondents having a positive outlook for 2024. Crucially, many investors say they have lots of capital to deploy, but the difficult conditions of the last couple of years have led them to be much more discerning. 

 “While few believe the IPO market will really re-open until 2025, deal activity is already starting to pick up – a trend that is likely to increase through 2024. European companies now need to work harder to convince investors or partners of their strategy and vision: being able to tell the ‘right’ story has never been more important.” 

Dr Julie Warner, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Boyds  

Julie Warner has also provided DDW with a range of opinions on the key trends and developments expected to shape the global drug development industry this year. Read more here.

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