Colorado biotech blossoming

Reinhardt Krause at Investors Business Daily notes the biotech industry is expanding beyond California and Boston to include new hotspots such as Colorado, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina and Minnesota.

Louisville’s Replidyne alone raised $62.5 million in venture financing in Sept. 2005. According to Venture One, that still ranks as the second-largest biotech deal outside of Calif. and Mass. Colorado biotech venture funding rose 38% to $158.6 million in 2006, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ “MoneyTree” survey.

State funding, though relatively minimal, is helping to bolster Colorado’s biotech industry. The Colorado Bioscience Association notes that, thanks to the approval of last year’s House Bill 1360, $2 million in state funds was recently awarded to 27 bioscience proof of concept projects at six Colorado universities and research institutions.

Adam Rubenstein’s Colorado Life Science Deal Flow blog reports that Lakewood-based CeraPedics closed a $12.25M private equity financing deal this week that will aid its development of products for the orthopedic bone substitute market. Adam’s blog notes significant progress at numerous other Colorado biotech firms that offer further reasons for optimism.

But lest we get too smug, it’s worth noting that the Mile-High state is hardly alone in chasing biotech investment. A post today from Seeking Alpha contributor H.S. Ayoub, for instance, details some of Florida’s efforts to parlay its aging population and huge healthcare infrastructure to grab a piece of the biotech pie.

Colorado’s fledgling biotech cluster, like much of the rest of the state’s technology industry, still has relatively shallow roots. Until this state produces a few homegrown Amgens and Genetechs with firmly established headquarters here – along with world-class university research centers – we’ll likely remain a technology feeder system for the industry’s established giants.

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