State of biotech industry… Boom or bust? — MedCity morning read, May 18, 2009

So is the nation’s biotechnology industry booming or a bust? It all depends on where you are.

Updated 8:55 p.m.

Complete this statement: The U.S. biotechnology industry is…

  1. Battling the blues
  2. Stumbling
  3. Resilient
  4. Booming

All of these answers are correct and depend on where you’re sitting, in terms of geography and sector, according to four separate Business Journal stories.

Times are tough for biotech companies, says the Denver Business Journal. Funding is hard to find. And many drug developers are expected to fail in coming months, largely because of the nation’s economic recession, experts say.

The impact of the recession is being aggravated by a perception that it’s tougher, these days, to get a drug through the Food and Drug Administration approval process, Jim Linfield of Cooley, Godward & Kronish LLP. Then there are questions about how health care reform could affect the industry’s economics, Linfield says.

Georgia’s life sciences industry is stumbling because of a dearth of corporate success stories, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Yet the U.S. industry is expected to outpace its European cousin, Financial Times says, writing from Atlanta where the Biotechnology Industry Organization begins its international convention today

But according to an opinion piece in the Atlanta Business Chronicle co-authored by Jim Greenwood — CEO of the national biotechnology trade organization — life sciences companies are resilient in the face of the challenging economy.

The future of the biotech industry is bright, in part, because many Americans rate finding cures for diseases as a top national priority, Greenwood writes.

Growth of biomedical business, research and development in Northeast Ohio grew faster than the national average in each of the last five years.

The industry is booming in the Golden Triangle of research facilities and biotech companies in San Diego, according to the Orlando Business Journal. Orlando’s Lake Nona community on Friday opened an $85 million satellite of San Diego’s Burnham Institute for Medical Research, where the local bio group says the region’s life science cluster has gone from “dreams to reality.”

And in Texas, the life sciences industry has had a $75 million economic impact on the state economy, according to the San Antonio Business Journal.

Boom or bust? You decide.

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