SOURCE: Burrill & Company

March 22, 2011 16:22 ET

Big Pharma's Woes Are an Opportunity for Biotech

Burrill & Company's 25th Annual Report on the Life Sciences Industry Describes How Companies Will Need to Remain Competitive in a World Being Reshaped by Technology, Healthcare Reform and Emerging Markets

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - March 22, 2011) - With escalating R&D expenditures, a paucity of new drug approvals, increasing safety demands by regulators, and the loss of revenue to generics as patents expire on their blockbuster drugs, the pharmaceutical industry has turned its focus towards biotechnology. The business models that created value in the past are no longer effective in an increasingly risk-averse and competitive environment that includes governments focused on controlling healthcare costs, skittish investors, and demanding shareholders.

Strong economic growth in emerging countries, a rising middle class, and increased access are fueling market demand for innovative medicines, according to Biotech 2011: Looking Back to See Ahead, Burrill & Company's newly released annual report on life sciences. Emerging countries, the report finds, are also moving quickly to embrace biotechnology as a driver of economic growth.

For the past 25 years, G. Steven Burrill has tracked the progress of the life sciences industry and its ground-breaking innovations. "Biotechnology is addressing the most fundamental human needs. It's transforming the way we detect and treat disease, how we produce our goods, power our machines, and feed the planet," says G. Steven Burrill, CEO, Burrill & Company. "As we look back, it is clear that the industry's accomplishments have been remarkable, but only hints at what is possible."

This special 25th anniversary edition examines how the industry has developed into the global enterprise it is today. In addition it details the performance of the global biotechnology industry during 2010, describes what companies will need to do in order to remain competitive in a world being reshaped by technology, globalization and emerging markets, predicts what lies ahead and the strategies that will be needed to stay competitive.

Key Findings from Biotech 2011:

  • Big Pharma M&A activity during the last decade showed that it lost close to one trillion dollars in value, based on the current combined market capitalization of 17 of the industry's most active acquirers.

  • An analysis of the status of the 66 biotechs that completed their IPOs in 2000 -- raising $6.3 billion -- demonstrates how biotech investing remains a high risk, high return pursuit where most companies will not be successful.

  • Deal making activity has been reshaped by a new attitude toward risk. Small and innovative drug developers seeking to scale up are finding new opportunities to license their programs or sell them completely when their work aligns with market demands.

  • The focus of pharmaceutical growth has shifted from developed markets to emerging markets, as rising incomes and aging populations fuel the rapid growth of healthcare needs and access in these countries.

  • With the renewal of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act moving to the center of the policy stage along with the fight over a pathway for biosimilars, the need to balance the FDA's mission to protect the public with the need to lower barriers to innovation will underlie the debates ahead.

  • Ten years after researchers completed the draft map of the human genome a new understanding of the role genes play in disease is starting to lead to new therapeutics and diagnostics, but not as fast as was originally predicted. 

  • The convergence of technologies is beginning to make an impact on the way disease is diagnosed and monitored and how care is accessed and delivered. These advances are driving the personalized medicine paradigm, ultimately leading to improved healthcare for all.

  • Industrial biotechs are embracing higher value renewable chemicals and biomaterials as a faster way to revenue while they develop their biofuels capabilities. At the same time, large corporations are not waiting for a global price on carbon to pursue green strategies, increasing demand for sustainable sources for their products.

Biotech 2011 - Life Sciences: Looking Back to See Ahead provides comprehensive, life sciences industry analysis, data, and graphs, including new product approvals, advances in technology, M&A transactions and analysis and a special Global chapter on the biotechnology initiatives and developments in Australia, Canada, Europe, the Nordic countries and Japan as well as emerging players, such as China, India, Korea, Brazil, Russia, and the Middle East. This report is a critical resource for senior executives, as well as business development, sales, investment, legal, economic development, media and other professionals who support the industry, to stay current in the fast-moving world of biotechnology.

For detailed information and to purchase Biotech 2011 - Life Sciences: Looking Back to See Ahead, available in print and digitally, visit

About Burrill & Company
Founded in 1994, Burrill & Company is a diversified global financial services firm focused on the life sciences industry. With more than $1 billion in assets under management, the firm's businesses include venture capital, private equity, merchant banking and media. By leveraging the scientific and business networks of its investment team, Burrill & Company has established unrivaled access and visibility in the life sciences industry. This unique combination of resources and capabilities enables the company to provide life sciences companies with capital, management expertise, insight, market intelligence and analysis through its investments, conferences, and publications. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company oversees a global network of offices throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. For more information visit:

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