U.S. biotech companies have watched for some time with a combination of bemusement and envy the market valuations accorded their British and European counterparts on the London Stock Exchange. But money is power, and U.S. companies that have been complacent about their preeminent place in the global biotech community will have to start looking over their shoulders as the world catches up.

Numerous signs of change over the past year are evident, including the awakening of the nascent German biotech industry and the formation of a series of new European capital markets. One sign of the growing European commitment to biotech is the amount investors are willing to put into companies: Genset (GENXY, Paris, France) raised $86.4 million in an IPO on both NASDAQ and the Nouveau Marche, British Biotech plc (BBIOY, Oxford, U.K.) got $220 million in a rights offering and Vanguard Medica Group plc (LSE:VGD, Guildford, U.K.) pulled $74.3 million in an IPO