California biotech: Strong, growing but worried

An industry group sees steady growth in California's biotech sector, but warns that looming new government regulations could throttle its advance. The state's biotech businesses ginned $73 billion in revenue in 2006, up 20 percent from the year before, says a report compiled by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. And if you combine devices and diagnostics with the biotech companies, the group claimed 40 percent of the $7.4 billion in venture money invested in the state--three times the sum brought in by Massachusetts' life sciences sector.

"There's an enormous market for the products of the industry as they're developed," says David Gollaher, CEO of the California Healthcare Institute and co-author. Gollaher adds that the state's biotech business is vulnerable to a recession but one big blockbuster approval could prevent the numbers from heading down.

- read the AP report

ALSO: Lobbyists in California are asking for $150 million in state funds to back incubators operated by the University of California system. That could be a tough sell, though, as the state faces a severe budget crunch. Report

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