PricewaterhouseCoopers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Venture capital investing into the 'omics-related and molecular diagnostics space remains challenging and is unlikely to improve in the near-term, according to some VC fund managers.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Venture capital investments into the life sciences dropped sharply in the second quarter compared to a year ago, according to a report this week from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.

The survey revealed that only 8 percent of drug and device makers feel the FDA "is doing enough to advance personalized medicine." Moreover, 56 percent of respondents familiar with FDA's Critical Path Initiative said that the agency "lacks the capability to implement the initiative," which aims to bring innovative drugs to market.

A PriceWaterhouseCoopers survey of small life sciences and pharma firms found mixed opinions on FDA's efforts to advance personalized medicine and biomarkers.

According to one of the world's largest professional services firms, the trend toward tailoring drugs based on clinical factors and genomic variation will create opportunities and challenges for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that the market for "a more personalized approach to health and wellness will grow to as much as $452 billion by 2015."

The PricewaterhouseCoopers report concludes that the personalized medicine market, which includes drugs, diagnostics, and health IT, could grow to $452 billion by 2015.

The San Francisco Bay Area and Boston/Cambridge, Mass., fared better in biotech activity than almost the entire next tier of large life-sci clusters, but worse than several up-and-coming regions, which saw either smaller year-to-year losses, or actual gains.

Silicon Valley remained the top US cluster with $210 million in first-quarter venture capital, down a little over 16 percent from the $251 million racked up a year earlier. New England's $149 million in biopharma VC marked a nearly 32 percent fall-off.

The company remains in business and continues work to get FDA approval for its ovarian tumor triage diagnostic. In its filing, the company said it had assets of about $7.2 million and liabilities of approximately $32 million as of Sept. 30, 2008.

Two top BioMed officials told investors that stronger activity at two nearly-completed Northeast projects and a stash of cash will enable it to continue paying customary dividends, though conceded a slowdown in Bay Area leasing.

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