Biotech Hitting Highs In Sales, Investments

The biotechnology industry is booming, with sales and investments soaring to record levels. A new report from Ernst & Young shows a 17 percent increase last year in global revenues at publicly traded biotech companies, to $54.6 billion. The growth was driven largely by the U.S. biotech industry, which dominates the landscape, accounting for almost 80 percent of worldwide sales. In the United States biotech sales were up 19.2 percent to $42.7 million, the report, released Wednesday, said. The sector is being fueled by healthy investments from private venture capital firms as well as public markets around the world. In the United States, equity financing rose 17 percent, to $16.9 billion from $14.4 billion in 2003. In Europe, the percentage increase was even higher, with equity financing increasing 31 percent, to $3.4 billion last year from $2.6 billion in 2003.

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