A lesson from Germany

In January, we went to Munich, partly at the invitation of the Bavarian government, to meet with German biotech companies and university researchers and to participate in a conference to help familiarize German companies with the U.S. capital markets.

At that meeting, we focused our comments on what U.S. investors expect of a biotech company, as well as on our understanding of the capital situation in Germany. Those remarks led to an energetic debate about capital formation in that nation, particularly the disincentives to early-stage risk capital and the lack of a public equity market for small entrepreneurial enterprises. Discussion then turned to what could be done to remedy the situation, which led to the conclusion that German biotech companies needed to organize.