The attractiveness of the healthcare sector is hard to dispute. Messenger RNA biotech startup Laronde’s $440 million series B funding round and biotech servicer Ten23 Health’s announced investment from 3i Group today are only the latest incarnations of investor interest. Promising new prescription volume data is only likely to make the sector shine further.
Pharmaceutical companies are entering a world in which Covid-driven vaccine demand comes alongside growth in prescription volumes—a change from the dog days of the pandemic when patients steered clear of pharmacies. July prescription volumes were up 7.7 percent year over year including Covid vaccines, and 4.2 percent excluding pandemic-related volumes, according to a recent note from Credit Suisse. That’s lower than April’s 15.4 percent Covid-inclusive year over year leap, but is the fourth such month of prescription improvement.
The shift adds another tailwind to a sector benefiting from a wider array of therapeutics and technology-related cost savings. Financial sponsors like Frazier Healthcare Partners, Luminate Capital Partners, and TA Associates have all raised oversubscribed sector-focused funds, contributing to the $241 billion stockpile raised in 1H21. That figure tops the latest high, according to Preqin data, 1H18’s relatively modest $180 billion.
“Life sciences has taken off more,” PwC private equity lead Manoj Mahenthiran tells Mergers & Acquisitions. “mRNA seems to be rolling off a lot of people’s tongues these days.”
Add the new prescription volumes to technological advances, and sector participants from biotech and pharma down to distributors should see further lift.