Clarivate’s Deal Report Highlights Emerging Trends in Closing Biopharmaceutical Deals


RNA, cell and gene therapies, artificial intelligence, CRISPR and oncology-related deals dominate the landscape

Biotech companies in the United States secured the largest sums of capital, followed by mainland China and the United Kingdom

LONDON, March 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Clarivate Plc (NYSE: CLVT), a global leader in providing insight and trusted insights to accelerate the pace of innovation, today announced the release of a new report, Review of biopharmaceutical offers: Review of an extraordinary year 2021 and expectations for the futurewhich highlights emerging market trends and provides a detailed analysis of 2021’s top deals and potential implications for 2022. This year’s report reveals that deals related to RNA, cell and gene therapies, AI, CRISPR and oncology dominated the landscape in 2021. Additionally, US biotech companies raised the majority of capital, followed by mainland China and the UK.

While the volume of investments in biotechnology has decreased, 2021 has been another extraordinary year for closing biopharmaceutical transactions. Trends driving licensing, collaborations and joint ventures included: agreements maturing towards co-development and co-commercialization, increasingly global nature of deal-making, continued energy around oncology therapeutics and pharmaceutical companies seeking a foothold in the enabling technologies that underpin next-generation treatments.

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves to become endemic, life science industries will continue to assess the changing landscape of drug development. Emerging trends suggest that innovators and investors will drive the next big advances in human health. Findings from this year’s Biopharmaceutical Deals report include:

  • Investments continue their record trend, while mergers and acquisitions are down – Continuing the record pace of the first half of 2021,1 a new record was set for global biopharma licensing, collaborations and joint venture agreements for all of 2021. A record 1,968 agreements were announced in 2021, and the total value of these companies for which details financial were disclosed was $213.6 billionfrom $198.2 billion in 2020.2 Overall, 2021 saw the highest total funding and deal value in the past five years. This was driven by a number of high value transactions; 72 offers were worth at least $1 billion for a combined value of $136.5 billion, reaching a new height. This compares to 58 such transactions worth $118.0 billion in 2020, 40 operations of this type valued at $92.5 billion in 2019 and 31 transactions of this type $63.6 billion in 2018.3
  • The best offers are multiplying – Several of the main transactions of 2021 involved the co-development and/or the co-commercialization of assets. Well-funded biotech companies are increasingly less interested in capital investments and more interested in deals that allow them to retain commercialization rights and integrate their assets throughout the development life cycle.
  • Biotech companies from United States granted the largest sums of capital – An in-depth analysis of BioWorld data showed that in 2021 biotechnology companies based in United States raised the majority from private and venture capital sources – accounting for 67% of all funds raised globally. MassachusettsEquity-based companies accounted for 30% of all venture capital funding. Companies in the San Francisco Bay Area took 13% of the global total, just ahead of mainland China-based biotechs, which held a 12% share of the global take. Biotechnology companies based in the UK attracted a 9% share of the total, just ahead of San Diego cluster (8%). In addition, partnerships established by companies in the Asia Pacific (APAC) indicate that there is growing interest in accessing global markets, potentially with the aim of maximizing returns on investment beyond what can be achieved in their local markets. These partnerships mainly relate to gene, RNA and oncology therapies, in line with the themes observed on all deals in 2021.
  • RNA technology is gaining traction with investorsThe COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the adoption of RNA-based vaccines and therapies, helping pave the way for others to enter the market. Established companies and start-ups are investing money to determine where mRNA, self-amplified RNA (aRNA), small interfering RNA (siRNA) and RNA interference (RNAi) will have the greatest advantage .
  • Investments in CRISPR should benefit rare diseases CRISPR techniques also have the potential to transform therapeutic approaches for diseases with very few treatment options. As a result, CRISPR has become a hot platform over the past decade, with a number of biotech companies developing therapeutic approaches using this technology.
  • Oncology-related transactions and M&As dominate the landscapeOncology-focused deals accounted for a large portion of global biopharma licensing, collaborations and joint venture deals (29% of all deals) in 2021. Of these, 25 were valued at more than $1 billionand nine reached at least the $2 billion Mark.4

Mike WardGlobal Head of Life Sciences and Healthcare Thought Leadership, Clarivate: “The desire to develop innovative medicines that will deliver better and more robust health outcomes for patients will continue to be a key driver for biopharmaceutical dealmaking activity. While pharmaceutical companies will always seek to acquire potential blockbuster treatments to replace existing products that are losing patent protection, others are urgently seeking breakthroughs in enabling technologies developed by biotechnology, such as gene and cell therapies, genome editing, antibody-drug conjugates, RNA technologies and AI/ML applications, which should underpin the next generation of transformative blockbusters.”

Clarivate is committed to supporting its customers throughout the lifecycle of medicines, devices and medical technologies to advance, create and protect innovation. By combining patient journey data, therapeutic area expertise, artificial intelligence and analytics in ways that unlock hidden insights, data-driven decisions and accelerate innovation, Clarivate’s end-to-end research is designed to enable customers to make informed, evidence-based decisions and better understand the changing landscape.

Full report on biopharmaceutical transactions is accessible here.

Join the conversation, use the hashtag #BioPharmaDeals2022 and mention Clarivate for Life Sciences & Healthcare on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Report methodology

Clarivate’s technology and experts harmonize billions of data points from thousands of sources and provide a unified view to drive decision making for a variety of use cases, including deal closing, forecasting, portfolio strategy and more. Leverage data and insights from BioWorld and Cortellis Transaction Intelligence™, as well as proprietary predictive analytics that draws on more than 20 features of the entire Cortellis data set, including more than 110,000 life sciences transactions, more than 36,000 contracts, and more than 9 500 unredacted contracts, Clarivate leveraged technology and expertise to harmonize data points from multiple sources to provide a unified view of deal closing in 2021 and potential implications.

To learn more about Clarivate data products, visit

About Clarivate  
Clarivate™ is a global leader in providing solutions to accelerate the innovation lifecycle. Our bold mission is to help customers solve some of the world’s most complex problems by providing actionable information and insights that shorten the time between new ideas and life-changing inventions in science and technology. Intellectual property. We help our clients discover, protect and commercialize their inventions using our reliable subscription and technology solutions combined with deep domain expertise. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Catherine Daniel
Director, External Communications, Life Sciences and Healthcare
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1 Source: Biopharmaceuticals deal review: Looking back on a strong first half and what to expect next. Clarify, [online]Available at: (accessible on February 21, 2022).

2 Carey, K. Bids Hit Record $213.5 billionwhile mergers and acquisitions in 2021 are struggling (January 12, 2022). BioWorld, [online]Available at: (accessible on February 21, 2022).

3 Source: BioWorld; Cortellis Transaction Intelligence

4 Source: BioWorld; Cortellis Transaction Intelligence

SOURCE Clarivate Plc


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