Among the hallway topics at last week's BioPartnering Europe conference in London, one could hear debated whether Europe was on the brink of creating a critical mass of homegrown biotechnology ventures. As is usually the case, commentary ranged from the optimistic to the skeptical. To provide a flavor of the emerging biotech enterprise in Europe, BioCentury this week offers profiles of three early-stage companies that are pursuing chimeric technology, gene therapy, and "combinatorial biology".

Emerging Company Profile

XTL's chimeric technology

When Martin Becker joined XTL Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. as President and CEO in November 1994 from Syntex Corp., XTL had technology but no business strategy. Becker has spent the past few months focusing the company's efforts on the use of its chimeric animal technology to develop human monoclonal antibodies and the creation of improved animal models that can be used in-house and in conjunction with corporate partners to develop improved lead compounds.