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European Biopharmaceutical Review

A New Age for Biotechnology - 18th to 19th June 2001, London

The financing and business environment for biotechnology in Europe was very much the theme of this two-day conference run by Marcus Evans in London in June. Following introductory comments by the first day's Chairman, Nick Woolf, Biotech Analyst at ABN Amro, the conference kicked off with an overview of the latest developments from Shawn Cross, Vice President Healthcare Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank. Shaun described the peaks and troughs of biotech valuation cycles over the last four to five years and the pattern of IPOs in the sector before the peak of 2000. All agreed that 2000 had been a stellar year and no-one should expect a repeat any time soon. However, activity levels and investor interest were presented as having stabilised following the slump at the beginning of this year, and private equity firms were described as still favourably disposed towards biotech investment. Finally, PIPEs (private investment in public equity) were presented as having come of age in the current environment, as a popular financing tool for biotechs to consider. The advantages listed were their speed and lower costs as a means to raise funds without the time out on the road. The disadvantages were listed to include the dilution effect for the existing shareholders and the discounts at which private buyers could access the shares.


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By Dr Helen Abbott, Editor of EBR
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Dr Helen Abbott
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