STAT+: In nation’s biotech hub, layoffs, closures, and mergers expected as part of an industry ‘correction’

One of the most popular biotech indices, called XBI, is down 27% since the start of the year and nearly 50% off of its peak in early February 2021.

Based on the unrelenting demand for more lab space in the Boston area, a boom in the region’s massive biotech cluster continues unabated. But the stock market paints a different picture of an industry that is a linchpin of the Massachusetts economy.

For more than a year, U.S. biotech stocks have been down overall, some by up to 80% or 90%. Pressure from investors has been especially intense for small- and medium-size companies that don’t yet have products on the market and are burning through cash in a race to commercialize their discoveries. Some, including local firms, have resorted to layoffs as they run low on funding, and industry leaders say more job cuts are likely, along with mergers and bankruptcies.

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