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Global Financial Crisis Making Biotech Business Model Unsustainable, According to Ernst & Young
Date:5/4/2009

Deep financing challenges separate haves and have-nots and accelerates move to sustainable models

BOSTON, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite worldwide economic turmoil, the global biotechnology industry delivered a solid financial performance in 2008, according to Beyond borders: Global biotechnology report 2009, Ernst & Young's 23rd annual report on the biotech industry. However, the prolonged and systemic funding drought is placing the business model that fueled biotech growth for the past 33 years under unprecedented strain. The report released today says that four sweeping, "paradigm-shifting" trends should lead to new, more sustainable ways of funding drug development: a wave of generic drugs based on today's top blockbusters, the expansion of personalized medicine, fundamental healthcare reform in the United States, and the continued globalization of the industry.

"This is not business as usual for the biotech industry," said Glen Giovannetti, Ernst & Young's Global Biotechnology Leader. "Unlike prior funding droughts, this crisis is systemic, deep and protracted. To thrive in this environment, firms will need to bring the creativity that has long been the industry's hallmark to establishing more durable models for funding innovation."

Key financial results;

  • Revenues of publicly traded biotechs grew 12% to US$89.7 billion in 2008. The global industry's net loss improved 53%, from US$3 billion in 2007 to US$1.4 billion in 2008. The US industry reached aggregate profitability for the first time.
  • Capital raised declined sharply in 2008. Companies in the Americas and Europe raised US$16 billion in 2008, a 46% decline from 2007. IPO funding fell 95% to US$116 million.
  • Biotech venture financing remained relatively strong, falling only 19% from 2007's all-time record to about US$6 bill
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SOURCE Ernst & Young
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