Biotech - Pandemics! War! Same Economically?

Unveiling the Economic Impact – A Biotech Futures Perspective

Common issues companies face during turmoil...

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Supply Woes

Wars & pandemics mess up supply chains, causing shortages and delays in crucial materials. Restrictions and increased demand lead to chaos.

R&D Setbacks

Distract biotech scientific partners from crucial research. Limited resources, shifting priorities, and workforce disruptions slow down innovation.

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R&D Setbacks

Distract biotech scientific partners from crucial research. Limited resources, shifting priorities, and workforce disruptions slow down innovation.

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Regulatory Turmoil

During crises, regulatory agencies struggle, causing delays in approving new life science technology. Uncertain rules make decisions tougher for companies.

Funding Rollercoaster

Wars and pandemics bring uncertainty, making it hard for biotechs to secure funding. Investors get jittery, affecting valuations and the cash flow needed.

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Funding Rollercoaster

Wars and pandemics bring uncertainty, making it hard for biotechs to secure funding. Investors get jittery, affecting valuations and the cash flow needed.

Uncover how biotechs thrive amid wars and pandemics. Schedule a call to navigate the evolving landscape with industry leaders.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on many industries, it has also had a positive impact on others. These industries include E-commerce, cleaning and sanitation, food delivery, and most importantly, health technology companies and the biotech market.

We will take a deeper look at the Western economies as they stand today, as well as a close look at the biotech industry to see who has done well during the pandemic, and who might be wanting more. 

Who benefitted from the Pandemic? 

Health technology companies

The years of the pandemic were filled with isolation and waiting to get back to a life we knew, all while digesting headlines that were focused on cures. The Pandemic created a need for new health science technology jobs such as telemedicine and remote monitoring tools. Companies in this sector have seen increased demand for their products and services. 

Mental health also saw a great jump in innovation, awareness, and funding since the pandemic began. Zach Lomis, Life Sciences VC and Senior Advisor at Pangea Botanica, shared his perspective on the positive effect COVID-19 had on biopharma, specifically the Central Nervous System space. ‘The number of reported mental health cases grew because Gen Z and Millennials were stuck at home suffering—but they were finally raising their hands.’ 

Mental health was not the only biotech sector that saw vast growth during the pandemic. Other sectors include:

  • mRNA vaccine technology: Companies such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna used this technology to develop highly effective COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Diagnostic testing: Companies that developed COVID-19 diagnostic tests, such as Abbott Laboratories and Roche, saw a surge in demand and revenue.

  • Telemedicine: Telemedicine companies, such as Teladoc Health and Amwell, saw increased usage as patients sought to avoid in-person medical visits during the pandemic.

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE): Companies that produced PPE, such as 3M and Honeywell, saw a significant increase in demand due to the pandemic.

  • Biopharmaceuticals: Companies that produced drugs for COVID-19 treatment, such as Regeneron and Gilead Sciences, saw increased demand and revenue.

  • Genomics: Companies involved in genomics, such as Illumina and Thermo Fisher Scientific, saw increased demand for their sequencing technology to study the virus and track its spread. 

It is also worth noting that during the pandemic, a bubble in biotech funding had formed. Subsequently, it burst in 2021. The effects of that burst are still being felt today. 

New markets emerging 

While the sectors listed above have seen significant growth during the pandemic, the pandemic has also highlighted the need for investment in other areas of biotech. 

‘Pandemic preparedness, global health equity, and addressing other diseases that have been neglected due to the focus on COVID-19,’ says Roop Chandwani, CEO of Mazards, a global firm with the aim to recruit and consult executives in the life sciences.  

While it might be a stretch to imagine a world where further pandemics are encouraged to stimulate profits for big pharma, it makes one wonder who else might profit further off of further global turmoil. The list isn’t short. 

E-commerce

The pandemic has accelerated the growth of E-commerce, as more consumers turn to online shopping to avoid in-person shopping. E-commerce companies have seen a surge in demand for products, resulting in increased sales and revenue.

Amazon is the best example, which experienced significant growth during the COVID-19 lockdowns, as more consumers turned to online shopping to avoid in-person shopping. The company's revenue and profits increased substantially, and it hired hundreds of thousands of new employees to keep up with demand. 

But it is important to note that while Amazon experienced significant growth during the pandemic, this growth also came with challenges, including increased demand for its services, supply chain disruptions, and worker safety concerns. Yet, the company remained at the top of the stock-market food chain. 

Though Amazon and other industries we’ve covered already have done well for themselves in the time of COVID, viruses have historically had the opposite effect of wars on the overall economy.  

So, does a pandemic stimulate the economy like war does?

While the industries we’ve covered have seen positive impacts, they do not necessarily offset the negative impact that the pandemic has had on many other industries. While very few industries benefit greatly, the answer at the moment is ‘no’, viruses such as COVID-19 do not stimulate the economy in the same way that war does, only very specific industries and companies. 

Though, it is wise to consider which companies we are talking about, as some of them have great influence not only in the west, but around the world. 

‘In times of war, many jobs are created and there are workers to fill the positions,’ says Aamir Butt, Chairman and CTO of Mazards, a firm of executive recruiters focused on life science VC jobs. ‘At the moment, coming out of the COVID pandemic, there is a job surplus and a severe shortage of workers willing to fill the roles. This affects how companies are run, and industries such as food and dining are suffering.’ 

Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant negative impact on the global economy, causing widespread job losses, business closures, and economic disruption. The pandemic has led to reduced consumer spending, supply chain disruptions, and decreased economic activity in many sectors.

In contrast, wars can stimulate the economy by creating new jobs in the defense industry, increasing government spending on weapons and other military-related products, and boosting demand for goods and services that support the war effort.

While both wars and pandemics can have significant economic impacts, they do so in very different ways. Wars lead to increased government spending and investment, while pandemics typically lead to decreased economic activity and increased economic uncertainty. Times are changing though, and we must keep our eyes on the data and the possibility that this historical trend could change too. 
 

Mazards, a retained executive search firm in London to partner executives and companies together, commissioned this piece from Dastrum, a life science marketing agency. 

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