BIO finishes annual meeting on a note of optimism

In a look back at the annual BIO meeting in Chicago this week, Chemical & Engineering News found plenty of reasons for the biotech industry to feel comforted by its ability to weather the economic storm.

BIO CEO James C. Greenwood talked about the "perfect storm" that had greeted attendees a year ago. Execs had plenty to worry about, from their ability to raise fresh funds to the size and shape of the healthcare reform legislation that was being debated in Congress.

Today, the likes of G. Steven Burrill are able to cite a much more optimistic attitude. True, R&D budgets are down generally, but the mortality rate among developers has proven to be much lower than what had been feared. While the public markets remain difficult for anyone to float an IPO, there have been some. And healthcare reform included a 12-year haven for biotech data--a clear win for BIO lobbyists. Add to that the industry's ability to raise $48 billion from various sources, and you have the makings for a much better year than virtually anyone had predicted.

- here's the story from C&EN