"These are strange times, when we are healthier than ever but more anxious about our health," writes Roy Porter in his wonderful book, The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity (Harper Collins, 1987). Today, the same can be said about the health of the biotech industry, which has never been as vibrant and successful in its 30 years, with more than 120 approved products, more than 300 in development, and around 2,500 companies in existence today. The sector has appreciated to the largest market value in its history, with an aggregate market capitalization of around $350 billion in mid-2006. Current demographic trends in the industrialized world favor the healthcare sector, in particular a wealthier, aging population wanting optimal quality of life and willing to pay for it.

Unpredictability and uncertainty in the pharmaceutical markets, regulatory framework, and business environments, however, has lead to anxiety among investors...

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