50% of Canadian biotechs face collapse in ‘09

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Canada

BIOTECanada has warned the Canadian government that unless it supports biotechs 50 per cent could run out of money this year, resulting in thousands of people being made redundant.

The renewal of BIOTECanada’s call for federal funding follows the results of its survey that revealed half of the nations emerging biotechs lack the cash reserves to stay operational throughout 2009.

BIOTECanada is hopeful that the government will share its views on the importance of the biotech industry to the nation’s economy and reflect this in the upcoming federal budget.

Peter Brenders, CEO of BIOTECanada, said: “The failure of substantial numbers of Canadian biotech companies will mean the loss of thousands of high-value jobs, years of public investment in our research infrastructure and potentially hundreds of new discoveries​.

These firms are not suffering from structural problems or bad business decisions, they simply need investment and Canadians are telling us they want to see government action to save the sector​.”

Research published in the Journal of Industrial Biotechnology​ found that biotech contributes $78.3bn to Canada’s gross domestic product and employs over one million people.

This forms the basis of BIOTECanada’s belief that the collapse of the biotech industry would be highly detrimental to the Canadian economy.

It appears that this view is shared by the Canadian population, with a Nanos Research poll conducted this month finding that 86 per cent of those surveyed identified biotechnology as important to the nation’s future economic prosperity.

Nanos’ poll also found that 81 per cent of Canadians surveyed support the implementation of economic stimuli to support biotechs. The research, which was commissioned by BIOTECanada, can be found here.

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