The living dead

Europe's Iceberg

The living dead

OXFORD - Of the 68 publicly quoted life sciences companies in Europe, only eight command a market cap in excess of $500 million, while only 16 have a market cap above $250 million. What is worse is that many companies are running short on finance and will need to box clever if they are to survive.

"If a public company has a market cap of less than $100 million, it really is in the dead zone," warned Oxford Bioscience's Ned Olivier.

The survival options open include going back to the market, curbing cash burn, making money some other way, merging or being acquired by a cash-rich predator.

Owing to its maturity, the U.K. sector faces the biggest crisis. A number of companies are running on empty and some have already taken steps to keep the

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