2023 March Life Sciences Update

Clinical Trial Activity Driving Future Demand

Another indicator of CRE growth and demand among life sciences companies is clinical trials activity. Excluding 2021, there were more ongoing trials in 2022 than any other year in the past two decades. Currently, there are approximately 44,500 active clinical trials among the markets tracked by Cushman & Wakefield. Just over half of these trials are in the early-to-phase-2 stages, which include exploratory trials, safety trials and short-term adverse events. Clinical trials in phase 3 make up 38% of all trials and are focused on further studies of a drug’s safety and effectiveness, as well as interactions with other drugs. Life sciences companies at any stage of clinical trials may be able to expand into more space, depending on the requirements of their trials. However, phase 3 trials generally include larger groups of participants, which would typically require a larger staff headcount and space. Phase 4 clinical trials are conducted post-FDA approval for marketing.

Although funding decreased across all deal types in 2022, the drop was less pronounced in seed funding (-14% YoY) and early-stage VC (-20% YoY), indicating a sustained affinity for startups and newer companies. As a percent of total funding, early-stage companies attracted the most funding in 2022, at $16.7 billion or 47% of total funding, followed closely by later-stage companies at $16.6 billion or 47%. Early-stage funding was more common in the top two largest life sciences markets—San Francisco Bay Area and Boston. Across the top 10 markets, early-stage funding accounted for 48% of total funding, which is a greater share than 2021 by 400 bps. Many of these companies are in the early growth stages as they seek to accelerate their platform, which can include the expansion of their existing lab and office footprint.

Top 10 Markets 2022 by Deal Type

Clinical Trials by Stage

Phase 4 7%

Early Phase 1 1%




Phase 1 11%


Phase 1 | Phase 2




Phase 3 38%



Phase 2 30%

Phase 2 | Phase 3



Seed Early Stage VC Later Stage VC Grants

Source: PitchBook Data, Inc.; *Data has not been reviewed by PitchBook analysts

Source: Clinicaltrials.gov, Cushman & Wakefield Research



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