8 Oct 2008

French biotechs set to lure drugmakers - survey

Tue Oct 7, 2008

French biotechnology companies' progress developing potential medicines should lead to several alliances or mergers with drugmakers in coming months, a report by the country's industry body showed on Tuesday.

The global financial crisis has put the brakes on initial public offerings but alliances with pharmaceutical companies should still give biotechs access to cash, it said.

"While awaiting the next opening of the stock market window, it is to be hoped that the financial deficits registered within the large pharmaceutical groups ... will push them towards our biotech companies," France Biotech said in its annual survey of the French sector.

"Such a development could lead to a number of strategic alliances or mergers over the coming months," it said.

The French biotech industry is approaching maturity in developing possible medicines, the survey showed, with 73 products entering the research phase and 98 experimental drugs being tested on humans in clinical development phases.

That compares with 57 drugs the pharmaceutical industry has in development as it grapples with patent expiries and a dire need for new treatments, the survey showed.
Marketing approval is pending for 10 biotech products with four available to patients.
In the first half of the year, the French biotechnology sector chiefly raised cash from venture capitalists which invested 98 million euros ($133.2 million), France Biotech said.

While opportunities for biotech IPOs -- 15 in 2007 .................


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