Boston, USA - Novotech, the leading Asia Pacific centred biotech CRO with global execution capabilities, today published the Navigating the Biotech Landscape whitepaper examining the significant financial shifts that affected the biotech industry in 2023.


The Novotech research analyst team offers these expert whitepapers at no cost to inform planning and strategy for biotech, biopharma and small to medium sized pharma clinical trials.

Navigating the Biotech Landscape: Insights into Clinical Trials, Funding Trends, Challenges, and Transformations Amidst Covid-19 And Beyond (2023) whitepaper delivers a thorough evaluation of the worldwide financial landscape for biotech clinical trials, offering valuable and actionable insights. 

The whitepaper identified key causes impacting the sector stating, “A convergence of diverse factors, including economic pressures, intense competition, ever-evolving market dynamics, and regulatory changes, is reshaping the industry, impacting both agile biotech startups and well-established pharmaceutical giants alike”. 

“Consequently, investments in early-stage biotech companies declined by 40% in 2023 compared to 2022, marking an unprecedented 55% drop from two years prior,” the whitepaper found.

It concluded that, “In this evolving landscape, showcasing enhanced clinical outcomes and cost savings emerged as a pivotal benchmark for the success of product development”.

A key disruptive element identified in the whitepaper is the impact of digital transformation in the biotech sector. 

“The adoption of automation, artificial intelligence, and advanced technologies curtailed the demand for a large workforce. Digitalization streamlined processes, resulting in job cuts. Pfizer’s substantial investment in digitalization is emblematic of this shift,” stated the whitepaper.

The data collected and analyzed by the Novotech team offers in-depth insights into the financial status of the industry and biotech sectors and regions under the most pressure including the following findings:

  • In 2022, the pharmaceutical and biotech industry started to experience lay-offs, reflecting a shift towards leaner operations
  • In 2023, rising interest rates led to a 40% decline in early-stage investments, prompting a move toward late-stage development
  • Factors contributing to these changes include the ongoing pandemic, expiring patents, increased competition, and unsuccessful clinical trials
  • Major players-initiated layoffs in the hundreds and thousands to adapt to economic challenges
  • Biotech venture capital funding increased until 2021 but declined afterward, with the US dominating funding deals 
  • Overall funding focussed on preclinical projects, Series A and B rounds, and oncology research despite funding challenges
  • Smaller innovative biotechs with promising pipelines and favorable valuations are being acquired due to looming patent expirations 
  • High demand exists for obesity and diabetes treatments, anti-inflammatory, and cancer therapies 
  • Microbiome technologies offer innovative opportunities

Despite the overall industry contraction both biologics and small molecule drug trials showed double the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) growth between 2019 and 2022. Some key factors in this space include:

  • The Inflation Reduction Act has a positive impact on biologic funding 
  • Biologics outpaced small molecule trial growth between 2019 and 2022 
  • The United States, Canada, and Europe led in both biologics and small molecule trials share 
  • The Asia-Pacific biologics trials were led primarily by China, Australia, Japan and South Korea 
  • Gene editing and genetic technologies show transformative potential in biologics

The whitepaper further concluded, “the era of blockbuster Series A funding rounds, characterized by investments exceeding $150 million for newly established firms, is waning. Investment trends are shifting, with the majority of oncology investments now closing in Series B rounds or later, constituting approximately 60% of the industry’s major deals.”

Novotech has more than 3,000 employees across 34 office locations in the US, Greater China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

The CRO offers biotechs a unique and unparalleled suite of early to late-phase services across the US and Europe, with a foundation in Asia Pacific where the company has built a reputation for delivering high-quality expedited clinical trials. Its commitment to collaboration is evident in the 50 Leading Site Partnership agreements it has signed over the past three years.

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About Novotech 

Founded in 1997, Novotech is a global full-service clinical Contract Research Organization (CRO) focused on partnering with biotech companies to accelerate the development of advanced and novel therapeutics at every phase. 

Recognized for its industry-leading contributions, Novotech has received numerous prestigious awards, including the CRO Leadership Award 2023, the Asia Pacific Cell & Gene Therapy Clinical Trials Excellence 2023, the Asia-Pacific Contract Research Organization Company of the Year Award since 2006. 

The Company offers a comprehensive suite of services including laboratories, Phase I facilities, drug development consulting, regulatory expertise, and has experience with over 5,000 clinical projects, including Phase I to Phase IV clinical trials and bioequivalence studies. With a presence in 34 office locations and a dedicated team of 3,000+ professionals worldwide, Novotech is a trusted end-to-end strategic partner of choice. 

For more information or to speak to an expert team member visit 

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