Ernst & Young's first annual survey of the European biotechnology industry highlights key differences between the U.S. and European biotech sectors, but also illustrated ways in which the European sector is converging with its U.S. counterpart.

The most obvious difference between the U.S. and European industries is their size, with 386 European companies versus close to 1,300 U.S. companies by E&Y's count. The Europeans are catching up, however, according to G. Steven Burrill of Burrill & Craves. Burrill is a senior advisor to E&Y and a collaborator on the survey, which was released in Amsterdam last week.