Peter Stadler, head of technical operations biotechnology at Bayer AG, is warning Europe's venture capitalists and institutions to tread carefully when they look to invest in European biotech. Having successfully raised huge sums of money, Europe's VCs may be under pressure to make investments. Speaking at last week's BIO-Europe partnering conference, Stadler, a prominent European biotech advocate, called on the VCs to ensure that they focus only on quality investments.

Three companies took the opportunity of the meeting to reveal that they will be looking to raise money in the near future. MediGene is about to embark on a series of financings in the next 18 months. The Munich company is planning a venture round for January, to be followed by a mezzanine round at the end of 1998, before going public in 1999. With the January roadshows in mind, MediGene persuaded Hoechst Marion Roussel to release some details of their collaboration to discover and develop novel cancer gene therapies (see B3). . . . Oxford BioMedica (LSE:OXB) is also about to announce plans for an £8 million (US$13.5 million) placing and rights issue. OXB sent out a pre-emptive press release to start the news flow, highlighting plans to start its first clinical trial of a gene therapy in breast cancer in the fourth quarter of 1998. . . . Meanwhile, Euroscreen plans to raise money to finance the development of its orphan G-protein coupled receptor technology (see BioCentury, June 23).