Layoffs In Biotechnology Signify Growing Pains For An Industry In Transition, Analysts Contend

Only half of today's firms are expected to exist five years from now, but a similar decrease in jobs is notnecessarily in the offing FEELING FINE: Analyst Joyhn Wong sees biotech layoffs as part of a "healthy cycle". The past year has been a turbulent one for biotechnology. While 1994 saw the first genetically engineered food approved for sale Calgene's Flavr Savr tomato it also witnessed disappointing failures in clinical trials and other industry setbacks. Many investors have deserted biote

Robert Finn
May 1, 1995


Only half of today's firms are expected to exist five years from now, but a similar decrease in jobs is notnecessarily in the offing

FEELING FINE: Analyst Joyhn Wong sees biotech layoffs as part of a "healthy cycle".
The past year has been a turbulent one for biotechnology. While 1994 saw the first genetically engineered food approved for sale Calgene's Flavr Savr tomato it also witnessed disappointing failures in clinical trials and other industry setbacks. Many investors have deserted biotech, leaving a serious cash crunch in their wake.

The industry has responded with a wave of business failures, acquisitions, mergers, and strategic alliances. A number of the companies that have survived are cutting back on programs and staff. BioWorld Today, a daily publication that watches the industry closely, has reported at least 21 companies that have laid off employees since the beginning of 1994 (see table on page...

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