August 23, 2012

Who is the most attractive?

According to a report by Ernst & Young, the professional services firm, and EuropaBio, an industry association, American biotech companies attracted four times as much venture capital than European ones. Does this pattern hold for genomics as well?

Click on the figure to enlarge. Number of investments in genomics companies, average genomics investment, and total genomics investment in California, Massachusetts, the rest of the USA, Europe, and Canada for the period 2005-2012

When I analysed data from Crunchbase, an online database, it became clear that the imbalance in biotech investment between the old and the new world is even more pronounced when it comes to genomics: In the period between 2005 and 2012, the United States attracted $1.7bn in funding, whilst Europe attracted only $213m.

Within the United States, it is striking that the money goes to the two states where most of the research is done: California and Massachusetts. The dominance of California is particularly remarkable: It's not just IT startups that rule in the Golden State.

These figures should be taken with a pinch of salt. Crunchbase may be biased towards listing more Silicon Valley and American companies (Genomics companies from outside of North America and Europe don't figure at all). Even so, the average genomics investment figure is still likely to be representative, and that is also much lower in Europe than in the United States or in Canada.

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