Jeremy Warner: Biotech faces funding crisis

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The Independent Online

Outlook: A high-level group of entrepreneurs, business leaders and scientists, including Sir Christopher Evans and Sir Richard Sykes, is warning that the financial crisis threatens meltdown in Britain's once-thriving biotech industry unless the Government steps into the breach with alternative funding. Welcome to the club. Just about every industry in the land is holding out the begging bowl right now.

Yet few industries have a better case. Britain is second only to the US in biotech breakthroughs, and if we can no longer rely on financial services for our future prosperity it is to industries like these that we must turn. Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, must listen hard to their case. If money can be found for mortgage borrowers, it can surely be found for our science base.