According to a new report from Ernst & Young, the US biotech industry is at its strongest. Deals among US companies reached a total of $23 billion last year, and the value of mergers and acquisitions was at its second-highest level in the industry’s history. Venture capital hit an all-time high of $5.4 billion in 2006, and capital raised by biotech companies around the world swelled 42% to $27.9 billion. Globally, public companies’ revenues grew in double-digits to pass the $70 billion mark for the first time. Europe has undergone a four-year turnaround, from a 12% revenue decline in 2003 to a 13% revenue climb in 2006. In Asia-Pacific, the public and private sectors are pushing a rapid transition from biomanufacturing and contract services to drug discovery and research. In contrast to a recent trend towards purchasing later-stage technologies, pharmaceutical buyers were drawn to early-stage platforms and last year. The value of 2006’s mergers and acquisitions was a product of many deals, rather than one large one. Of the biotech CEOs polled by Ernst & Young, 99% of US CEOs and 87% of European CEOs plan to make deals in the next two years, and 52% of all CEOs plan to collaborate with other companies to bring new products to market.

Source: Ernst & Young

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