Biotech Boom Finally Fizzles

Riskiest sector hit by downturn
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2009 7:00 AM CST
Biotech Boom Finally Fizzles
New digital Honeybee artificial Insemination Instrument from Chung-Jin biotech.    (Photo: Business Wire)

In the bullish market, biotechnology was flush with investment, even though one drug might take many as 15 years and as much as a billion dollars to produce—but those days are over for the riskiest technology sector. Portfolio reports that 45% of publicly traded biotech companies will run out of cash in the next six to 12 months. "The mediocre middle will certainly go away," one venture capitalist said. "There will still be winners, but far fewer."

One possible winner is the company Illumina, which recently announced an $18 million development deal with Oxford Nanopore for its next-generation genetic sequencing technology. At the JPMorgan biotechnology conference, Illumina's CEO, Jay Flatley, said there is great opportunity for those who still have money. "There is a sugar daddy aspect to it," he noted.

(Read more biotechnology stories.)

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