More mature industry - Preliminary results of the BIOQuébec-Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton annual survey on the state of Quebec's biopharmaceutics and contract research industry revealed



    MONTREAL, Nov. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - BIOQuébec and Raymond Chabot Grant
Thornton (RCGT) are pleased to release the preliminary results of the fifth
survey on the state of the industry.
    The purpose of this annual survey is to get a snapshot of the industry
and monitor its developments as well as the main challenges it faces. This
year's survey reveals a mature, healthy industry that not only focuses on
financial survival but also on clinical trials and marketing.
    According to BIOQuébec's President, Patrick Montpetit, who is also the
Vice-President, Finance of Bioniche, "Generally, the industry appears more
solid, but clearly, public support for development companies must be
increased. The survey also revealed that Quebec enterprises are somewhat
hesitant to use public share issues as a financing approach. We intend to
investigate this matter and work towards making it easier for members to avail
themselves of an initial public offering."
    According to Richard Payette, President and CEO of RCGT, "The results of
this survey indicate that, to stay at the forefront, our industry must further
support innovation to ensure the growth of start-up enterprises. There is also
a need to reflect on the business model of Quebec enterprises, explore new
product distribution and development models in order to enhance marketing
success."

    Highlights

    Overall, the situation has improved in the past year

    For 2006-2007, 80% of enterprises indicate they have been active for more
than five years, and more than half consider that their situation improved
during this period. Also, 85% of the companies surveyed plan to hire new
employees in the next twelve months. The survey results suggest there has been
a decline in the number of new companies. It appears that the industry has
become more disciplined, and instead of systematically creating new
businesses, innovation has become the focal point. Nevertheless, if innovation
is to thrive, there must be an increase in the support for development
companies.

    Financing

    Responses to financing questions indicate that relatively few enterprises
advocate public markets as a source of financing (7%), compared to venture
capital, which draws considerable interest (35%). While the survey indicated
that 63% of enterprises are looking for financing, this is not their primary
concern (13%). The preoccupation with marketing and development and clinical
trials (20% and 29% respectively), is a further sign of industry maturity.

    About the Survey

    This fifth survey was conducted between June and August 2007 with 64 life
sciences companies employing some 4,700 people. The information was collected
via a secure Web site in order to preserve the confidential nature of some of
the data collected.
    The electronic version of the highlights may be viewed on the BIOQuébec
(www.bioquebec.com) and Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (www.rcgt.com) Internet
sites.

    BIOQuébec

    BIOQuébec is a biotechnology and life sciences industry association
representing more than 215 member companies and R&D centers in Quebec. The
association works to create a positive influence on the growth of the life
science industry.

    Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

    Serving small, medium and large companies in every sector of activity for
almost 60 years, RCGT's experts in assurance, taxation, consulting, insolvency
and turnaround are intent on working with you to encourage your growth. This
approach has helped us become one of the largest networks of public
accountants and management consultants.
    Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton LLP is a member firm of Grant Thornton
International, and has over 1,900 employees in more than 85 offices. Grant
Thornton International is one of the largest international networks with
521 offices in over 110 countries.




For further information:

For further information: Mathieu Vidal, Director, Communications and
Events, BIOQuébec, (514) 733-8411, extension 204, mvidal@bioquebec.com,
www.bioquebec.com; Jean-Daniel Brisson, Director, Strategy and Performance,
Consulting Group, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, (514) 390-4264,
Brisson.jean-daniel@rcgt.com, www.rcgt.com


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