Early Investors Remain Bullish On Biotech-- With Reservations

In 1980, biotech was a fledgling industry with only 20 companies and no reported revenue. It has become a $2 billion-a-year industry with 1,000 companies. Now, industry analysts conservatively project revenues to grow to $20 billion a year by the end of the decade, while a report on national biotechnology policy released in February by the President's Council on Competitiveness predicts revenues will shoot to $50 billion by 2000. "The venture capital industry is undergoing very dramatic changes

Diane Brozek
Apr 28, 1991

In 1980, biotech was a fledgling industry with only 20 companies and no reported revenue. It has become a $2 billion-a-year industry with 1,000 companies. Now, industry analysts conservatively project revenues to grow to $20 billion a year by the end of the decade, while a report on national biotechnology policy released in February by the President's Council on Competitiveness predicts revenues will shoot to $50 billion by 2000.

"The venture capital industry is undergoing very dramatic changes and has very significant pressures on it," says Jim Bochnowski, a general partner in Delphi BioVentures of Menlo Park, Calif., which has $43 million invested in biomedical companies. "Returns on investment in the venture capital industry have been disappointing and, as a consequence, it's become far more difficult to raise money for venture capital partnerships in general. This puts a somewhat less ebullient and optimistic cast on venture capitalists as they look...