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Europe's Iceberg 2011: A rising tide; demand to match

BioCentury annual survey: Maturing European biotech demands more money than ever

Europe's biotech industry is maturing, as a handful of public companies are transitioning from sizable cash burners to commercial enterprises, while the number of private clinical-stage companies has reached record levels.

Indeed, BioCentury's 9th Annual European Iceberg Survey - which projects the money required to provide three years of runway for companies in the clinic, or have a product on the market - counts 217 private companies in the clinic and beyond. That is up 21% from 180 in last year's survey and nearly four times the number in the initial survey taken in 2003 (see "The Ascent").

But the surge in clinical-stage stories also means more voracious appetites for money: the private group's capital need is projected to be about $4.2 billion to cover the next three years, up 38% from $3 billion in last year's survey.

Meanwhile, the projected funding need from the public side is less than in 2010, as late-stage biotechs are starting to offset spending with revenue from newly approved drugs.

Companies like Basilea Pharmaceutica AG and Genmab A/S are seeing top-line growth from drugs approved over the past three years. Basilea's Toctino alitretinoin

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