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Over the past 18 months, the life sciences industry, specifically the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, tools and diagnostics sub sectors, has seen underperformance after years of seemingly endless demand. In order to unpack the mindset of public and private investors in today’s challenging life sciences market, we convened a panel at our 2022 Global Healthcare Conference to discuss the current and future state of the industry.

Moderated by Brian Skorney, Baird’s Senior Research Analyst covering Biotechnology, the discussion featured Doug Fisher, partner, Revelation Partners; Gaurav Gupta, founder, Ascendant BioCapital; Chidozie Ugwumba, managing partner, SymBiosis; and Rohit Vanjani, analyst, Senator Investment Group.

Following are highlights shared by each panelist:

Baird Moderator:

Brian Skorney professional headshot

Brian Skorney, CFA
Senior Research Analyst

Eighteen months ago, or two years ago, areas like primary care or very large markets were out of favor. Now it seems like the pendulum is swinging to those preferred areas for their large commercial potential. And so what's undervalued today sort of thematically is in my opinion, what was maybe kind of hot two years ago.

Rohit Vanjani, Analyst, Senator Investment Group
Rohit Vanjani

For those of us who have been around for a few years, you’re just seeing a cycle… equilibration is a function of when do those privates need money… we’re hitting that part of the cycle where you have that, to use a colloquial term, a cabal of little healthcare investors who now can call the shots.

Doug Fisher, Partner, Relevation Partners
Douglas Fisher

I think that the investment community has been in a way, victimized by its own success, leveraging that bull run. And I think that a lot of people will have to work that out. We'll all have to work that out over the next couple years.

Gaurav Gupta, Founder, Ascendant BioCapital
Gaurav Gupta

I think the other thing to think about is that I think we're seeing the opening skirmishes between the U.S. and China, principally, but more broadly of a biotech arms race, for lack of a better term. Things that look like the space race, that look like drives in AI and computing that folks are recognizing that the engineering of biology is of strategic and perhaps existential importance to state actors.

Chidozie Ugwumba, Managing Partner, SymBiosis