Biopharma Services Industry Update - H1 2023

U.S. Biopharma Services Industry Update - H1 2023

Download PDF

Public Markets Update and Outlook

The performance of the biopharma services sector has exceeded the performance of the S&P 500 during 2023 YTD (20.1% versus 16.4%). However, it should be noted that there was a substantial uplift (~14%) in biopharma services stocks during the month of June, which allowed the group to achieve this outperformance. However, even with the uplift in June, biopharma services stocks are trading at an average EV/LTM EBITDA multiple of 16.0x vs a 3-year average of 19.1x.

Given the public capital markets environment has been less robust in 2023 YTD, the cash runway for emerging, listed biopharma companies continues to trend downward and currently stands at 20.7 months (versus a 3-year average of 28.5 months). Additionally, funding from venture capital in the biopharma sector during 2023 YTD has been $9.9 billion, which translates to a run rate of $19.8 billion. This annualized figure of $19.8 billion is substantially below the 3-year average of $33.1 billion, but is still above the $18.7 billion that was raised in 2019, which was the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Importantly, current funding within the biotech sector is generally regarded as being sufficient to support the continued secular expansion of the biopharma services sector. Moreover, the recent uplift of the biopharma services stocks in June may be a forward indicator of a more robust (public) funding environment within the biopharma sector.

M&A Performance Snapshot

Deal Volume

Deal Value ($Bn)

Deal Multiples*(1)

*1H’23 has multiples from 2 deals


M&A Market Update

In 2023 YTD, there were 65 transactions representing $12.5 billion in deal value. Notably, two large transactions were responsible for nearly $11.7 billion of the $12.5 billion in deal value. These transactions were Baxter’s sale of its Biopharmaceutical Solutions business to Advent and Warburg Pincus for $4.3 billion and the $7.4 billion Syneos take-private transaction by Elliott, Patient Square and Veritas. Likewise, the average deal multiple of 11.7x for 2023 YTD was driven by these two transactions. However, while we feel that transaction multiples have come off the highs seen in 2021 and 2022, we also believe that typical M&A multiples continue to be in the mid-to-high teens.

Turning back to transaction volume, the current run rate for 2023 is ~130 transactions, which is roughly in line with the pre-pandemic level seen in 2019. 

Sponsor-Backed M&A Activity

In 2023 YTD, the biopharma services sector has continued to witness strong participation from the private equity community as nearly 68% of the M&A deals were PE-backed. This level is consistent with the level seen in 2022 (~70%) and represents a marked increase from the 2019 (pre-pandemic) level in which (only) 44% of transactions were PE-backed.

As discussed above, while Baxter’s divestiture of its Biopharmaceutical Solutions business ($4.3 billion) and the Syneos take private transaction ($11.7 billion) represent larger platform transactions, it is important to note, that upwards of 75% of the PE-backed transactions were add-on acquisitions. For example, during the last six months, Kymanox (backed by WestView Capital) acquired two companies to strengthen its commercialization capabilities and Novotech (backed by TPG Capital) also did two acquisitions to expand its CRO operations and to strengthen its regulatory expertise.

Given the robust fundamentals within the biopharma services sector, we expect to see continued strong participation from private equity firms as the consolidation trend in the sector continues and as PE-backed platform companies continue to expand service offerings up and down the biopharma development and commercialization continuum. 

We hope you find this information valuable, and as always, feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss in further detail. To read the full report, download the PDF below.


  1. EBITDA multiples exclude clinical trial software and other health IT-focused transactions
  2. Includes add-on deals

Download the document

U.S. Biopharma Services Industry Update - H1 2023

Download PDF

Explore more

Webcast Replay Webcast Upcoming Listen Now


KPMG Corporate Finance LLC’s investment bankers have extensive Healthcare transaction and industry experience, which enables them to understand the industry-specific issues and challenges facing our clients.

Webcast Replay Webcast Upcoming Listen Now

Biopharma Services Industry Update Q4 2023

Read more about M&A activity and trends in this sector

Webcast Replay Webcast Upcoming Listen Now


Learn about the latest trends in mergers and acquisitions with KPMG Corporate Finance LLC.

Meet our team

In today’s market, you need an advisor with objective insight at every step of the transaction process. We work with you throughout the full deal cycle to create value and successfully execute your deal strategy.

Image of Jason Moran
Jason Moran
Managing Director, KPMG Corporate Finance LLC

Thank you!

Thank you for contacting KPMG. We will respond to you as soon as possible.

Contact KPMG

Use this form to submit general inquiries to KPMG. We will respond to you as soon as possible.

By submitting, you agree that KPMG LLP may process any personal information you provide pursuant to KPMG LLP's Privacy Statement.

An error occurred. Please contact customer support.

Job seekers

Visit our careers section or search our jobs database.

Submit RFP

Use the RFP submission form to detail the services KPMG can help assist you with.

Office locations

International hotline

You can confidentially report concerns to the KPMG International hotline

Press contacts

Do you need to speak with our Press Office? Here's how to get in touch.