OXFORD-Ever since 1996, when Jürgen Rüttgers, then German federal minister for research, science, technology and education, unveiled his ambitious BioRegio program to stimulate biotech entrepreneurship, critics warned that it would never lead to sustainable companies. But those critics now may find themselves having to eat their words, as two of Rüttgers' babies today planned to announce that they are acquiring U.S. companies.

In both cases, easier access to capital at robust valuations in Germany last year paved the way for the transatlantic deals. And although the financing dynamics now have changed, the argument for European companies to go global promises to remain.