The top biopharma trends for 2016

So this is Xmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

Look back on 2015 and you'll see an industry that has come into its own. With billions of dollars flowing in from IPOs, follow-ons, venture investors, the rich (those high-net-worth individuals) and pharma deals, there's never been a better time to start a new biotech company focused on making a leap in medicine. Provided, of course, that you're working with technology from a top institution and have some top VCs sending you Christmas cards.

Made money for VCs or at least forged a sterling rep and want to start a new company? This is your era. Gather $40 million, get a great group of 20 to 25 staffers, link up with the best vendors in the business and go for it.

Of course, if you're working with tech from a second-tier institution with no contacts among a limited group of investors and you're trying to make a rep for yourself, expect a hard road ahead. IPOs are starting the year challenged by a chilly market. VCs are very picky. And if you think everything is getting funded, you're wrong. It just looks that way from the outside.

It's also continuing to change, fast. How is 2016 shaping up in terms of the big trends? As we do every year, I'm taking a look at what I see ahead. And, as always, I'll add a cautionary, forward-thinking remark: Markets are inherently unstable and unpredictable. And biotech? Biotech is a heavy bet skating on thin ice.

The people offering their thoughts on the future, including me, are among the hardest working people you'll ever meet. We get up early and we finish late. And if we're all working so hard, it can't be because we can predict the future with 100% accuracy.

If I could do that, I'd be celebrating Christmas on my yacht and not taking calls.

So consider the following as a set of likelihoods mixed with a few wishes. And Merry Christmas. -- John Carroll, Editor-in-chief (email | Twitter)

And so this is Xmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

-- John Lennon

1. M&A: Buckle your seat belts for another big round of deals
2. IPOs: The chill finally set in, so when's the rally?
3. VCs: Venture funding grows, with more money for startups
4. Pricing pressure: Doubling down on the political drama
5. Globalization: Another year closer to a worldwide network