Beyond borders: global biotechnology report 2012

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“In this capital-constrained environment, we can no longer afford inefficiency and duplication in drug R&D. The industry needs to remove duplication, encourage pre-competitive collaboration, pool data and let researchers learn in real time." Glen Giovannetti, EY Global Biotechnology Leader

Welcome to the 26th annual issue of Beyond borders, our annual report on the global biotechnology industry.

Our analysis of trends across the leading centers of biotech activity reveals both signs of hope and causes for concern. The financial performance of publicly traded companies is more robust than at any time since the onset of the global financial crisis, with the industry returning to double-digit revenue growth.

Companies that had made drastic cuts in R&D spending in the aftermath of the crisis are now making substantial increases in their pipeline development efforts.

But even as things are heading back to normal on the financial performance front, the financing situation remains mired in the "new normal" we have been describing for the last few years. While the biotech industry raised more capital in 2011 than at any time since the genomics bubble of 2000, this increase was driven entirely by large debt financings by the industry's commercial leaders.

The money flowing to the vast majority of smaller firms, including pre-commercial, R&D-phase companies — a measure we refer to as "innovation capital" — has remained flat for the last several years.

As such, the question we have posed for the last two years is more relevant than ever: how can biotech innovation be sustained during a time of serious resource constraints?

These are timely topics, and we look forward to exploring them with you.

Take a closer look at our findings and point of view:


Glen Glen T. Giovannetti
Global Biotechnology Leader
Gautam Jaggi Gautam Jaggi
Managing Editor, Beyond borders

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