The following is an excerpt from a Boston Business Journal article originally published on January 4, 2024:
Despite a tough environment for attracting funding in 2023, Massachusetts-based biopharma companies managed to bring in a bigger slice of the venture capital funding pie last year.
A report issued Thursday morning by the trade group MassBio found that Massachusetts biopharma companies raised $7.67 billion in venture capital funding during 2023.
Funding was down last year compared to its pandemic-era high, but Massachusetts companies accounted for 31% of all VC dollars invested in the industry. That’s second only to California and up 6% from last year, MassBio reported.
MassBio CEO and President Kendalle Burlin O’Connell said the new data shows the local industry “weathered the post-pandemic industry reset” and will remain a global leader moving forward.
The report attributed Massachusetts’ performance to its density of biotechs, pharmaceutical companies, investors and universities. While the concentration of the local life sciences industry is a strength, Burlin O’Connell said it could also create challenges for the state.
“It also makes the Commonwealth’s biopharma industry more vulnerable to disruptions in the drug development life cycle from federal price controls and attacks on patents and IP. Continued partnerships between industry and government, and cross-sector collaboration, will help to mitigate certain challenges and keep the innovation engine strong,” Burlin O’Connell said.
MassBio also pointed to several factors that could enhance the funding ecosystem. Last year saw Cambridge selected as a new investor-focused hub of the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health. This year the Healey administration is expected to renew the state’s Life Sciences Initiative.