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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Editor's Letter

As the corporate world reels from yet another accounting scandal in the shape of WorldCom, the biotech sector is suffering its own particular crisis in the light of insider trading allegations at ImClone and the deepening crisis of Elan's cash position. Times are not good for those seeking a glimmer of hope in the IPO market, despite several good companies waiting in the wings for an improvement. Tense times seem to bring intense activity as companies tighten their cash burn rates, intensify partnering efforts and perhaps start to look more realistically at M&A as a means of survival. Consolidation can broaden internal R&D expertise towards product-engine capability, strengthen development candidate portfolios and build the essential critical mass deemed necessary for IPO and post-listing survival. The 'hybrid model' - platform technologies with a clear path to products - is what investors are looking for, as evidenced recently in numerous sessions at EC21 and BIO. Following this theme, alternative methods of financing for early stage life science companies is a subject explored in some depth in this issue, through the article from Martin Austin of Paul Capital Partners.


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By Dr Helen Abbott, Senior Consultant at Technomark Consulting Services
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Dr Helen Abbott
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