Sunstone monitors and analyzes all M&A transactions for therapeutic companies HQ’ed in Europe, with an exit transaction value exceeding EUR 50M. Upon fragmenting the 43 transactions executed between 2010 and 2020 by modalities, we were surprised to observe that only 4 of these involved therapeutic antibodies, relative to 24 small molecules!
FDA in the same period approved approximately one antibody for every three small molecules! Why is European venture capital not having more success with antibodies? Is the CMC too costly?
Is this a European phenomenon caused by smaller funds and smaller deployment of capital? Have Venture Capital in the US been more successfully deploying venture capital in therapeutic antibodies?
On a positive note, several of these M&As target novel modalities, highlighting the important role of European venture capital in seeding the pharmaceutical R&D ecosystem with new innovations!