The biotech sector raised $2.1 billion from the financial markets in the first quarter of 1998, the most in the period since BioCentury began tracking biotech capital markets in 1993. On top of the $1.9 billion raised in last year's fourth quarter, investors clearly are finding ways to put money into biotechnology.

However, the numbers mask the fact that the key public offerings markets have all but vanished, while the funding bonanza was heavily based on debt financing by a handful of companies.