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Science, the State, and the CityBritain's Struggle to Succeed in Biotechnology$
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Geoffrey Owen and Michael M. Hopkins

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198728009

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198728009.001.0001

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Investors Retreat

Investors Retreat

(p.79) 4 Investors Retreat
Science, the State, and the City

Geoffrey Owen

Michael M. Hopkins

Oxford University Press

The first decade of the new millennium was a difficult period for the UK biotech sector. Following the stock market collapse of 2000–001 it was no longer possible to float biotech firms on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, although some were able to list on the junior market, AIM. There was a brief recovery in 2004–06, but that was soon followed by the financial crisis, closing the IPO window once again. The years between 2001 and 2008 saw a series of deals whereby promising British biotech firms, both public and private, were bought up by large pharmaceutical companies, mostly non-British, raising fears that the independent British biotech sector might fade away. In addition several firms which might have gone public in London chose to move to the US, where capital for biotech was more plentiful and there were more specialist investors committed to the sector.

Keywords:   venture capital, stock market, Big Pharma, financial crisis, Cambridge Antibody Technology, government intervention

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