It’s that time of year again when we pause to reflect on the state of the industry – and there’s more to focus on in biopharma today than just the drug pricing debate.
As I described last year, we host two major events in the 4Q every year: our Atlas Venture Annual Meeting for our fund investors (Limited Partners) and our Atlas Retreat for senior industry executives. As a customary kickoff for these events, we share a summary “Year In Review” to frame up some of the important themes facing biopharma. Last year we shared the 2018 presentation here via a video, and decided to do the same this year.
The 2019 Year In Review once again tackles three areas: macro themes facing the pharmaceutical industry, a deeper dive into the biotech ecosystem, and a brief update on Atlas Venture itself.
This year’s macro theme celebrates Mark Twain’s famous remark that although history may not repeat itself it does rhyme. By using three signposts of 1999, 2009, and 2019, the talk frames up the three decade arc of the industry and how we got to where we are today – exploring the similarities and differences across six topics, including society’s addressable unmet needs, biopharma’s innovation and impact, industry R&D productivity, our social contract, industry reputation, and of course drug pricing.
In the biotech section, in addition to pausing to reflect on state of biotech circa 1999 and 2009, the talk covers the four C’s of the current ecosystem: Capital, Collaboration, Community, and Culture. This covers the data behind the equity capital markets and fund flows, as well as M&A and partnerships. This section finishes with a brief discussion on the war for talent and the importance of the hard truth about innovative cultures.
To close out, the talk provides a brief update on Atlas Venture – our strategy, firm and fund evolution over the last few decades, biotech portfolio, and team.
With that intro, here’s the video recording of the Atlas Venture Year In Review with voiceover accompanying the slides:
Given that it’s close to an hour long, I would suggest watching it at 1.25-1.5x speed – even with the Chipmunk-like voice distortion. Feedback and suggestions for 2020 are welcomed.
Special thanks to both Kristen Margeson and Edward Goin, who provided the project management and graphic design, respectively, for this presentation.