STAT+: ‘Holding on by its fingernails.’ The biotech industry in Massachusetts braces for another tough year

It’s hard to overstate the Boston biotechnology industry’s astronomical growth, which has overflowed from its longtime stronghold of Kendall Square in Cambridge into the Fenway, Seaport, and surrounding suburbs. But by most financial measures, 2022 was a terrible, horrible, no-good year for biotech — here and everywhere else.

Compared with a record-busting 2021, private funds to finance growth were harder to come by across the industry last year. The size and scope of acquisitions were modest. And a new federal law to combat high drug prices sent a chill down the industry’s spine. Biotech stocks fell 26% during 2022 according to one benchmark of the industry — the exchange traded fund XBI — and are down 48% since their all-time high in February 2021, significantly worse than the broader market.

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