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2023-03-14| Special

Biotech Start-ups May Face a Foreboding Prospect Following Silicon Valley Bank (SVB)’s Unsuspected Collapse

by Richard Chau
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Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the 16th largest bank in the United States with total assets of $209 billion and deposits of $175.4 billion (as of the end of 2022), has recently suffered a major financial meltdown, as its shares plummeted precipitously and about $42 billion in deposits were withdrawn in a run. Despite selling its assets and stocks immediately to raise the necessary funds, SVB failed to save itself and went bankrupt last week. As a result, the bank was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

The collapse of SVB is the largest failure of a financial institution in the United States since the 2008 financial crisis (and the second largest ever). According to SVB, nearly half of all venture-backed technology and biotech start-ups in the U.S. have opened accounts with the bank, amounting to approximately $342 billion in client funds and involving approximately $74 billion in loans. Therefore, the incident is bound to create a substantial impact on the global biotech industry, especially those venture-backed companies.

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