The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Tag Archives: Florida

State of the Biotech Industry — Heading into BioFinance

As the BioFinance conference in Toronto starts up today, I thought it would be worth looking at a few recent data points for the biotech industry:

  • The Q1 Burrill data (via PharmPro) shows above-market gains for public biotechs (up 8% in Q1), $6.1 billion of pharma partnering deals were done, and total biotech VC investments were up 7% in Q1 (over Q4 ’09) though follow-on VC rounds were down 52%.
  • Regenerative medicine company Tengion Inc. is heading for an IPO this week, aiming (low, says John Carroll) for 4.4 million shares at $8 to $10 apiece, with current stockholders taking about $15 million of the offering.  Watch this one for a good barometer of what a clinical stage biotech (lead product in Phase II) can aspire to.
  • Public investment is still running strong in many jurisdictions as well.  Ontario is waiting to learn how MRI’s new money will be spent; Palm Beach Gardens in Florida is setting aside 681 acres for a biotech park; and the Washington DC region continues to invest in its strong cluster, including a new tax law in Virginia that “creates a three-year window under which entrepreneurs and investors can start and invest in early stage technology companies in Virginia without having to pay any long-term capital gains taxes on the returns those companies generate.”

Stay tuned here and @crossborderbio on Twitter for updates from the conference.

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Biotech Bailout: How Much Does it Cost Government to Attract Biotech Jobs?

Governments want to create jobs.  Not just any jobs, “creativity-oriented jobs” and “knowledge economy jobs.”  But what does it cost government to create one of these jobs?  We don’t really know, but on this blog we’ve been tracking data points all year to try to get some sense of how to invest effectively to attract the workers who will keep our economy competitive into the next century.

This week, a report from Florida’s legislature created what appears to be a new high-water mark: $1.4 million for each new biotech job.  $759 million investment in eight biotech campuses over the last six years, with about equal amounts coming from other levels of government, resulting in a total of 1,100 jobs.  However, as the report points out, not that much time has elapsed.  This also seems like a count of only the most direct jobs, and these have a high leverage ratio, each one supporting 5-7 additional jobs.

One valuable conclusion from the report: creating a cluster takes a multifaceted approach.  The biotech campuses were of limited help because early stage capital was not available.

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Photo of meat grinder from flickr user gpiper under a Creative Commons license.

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