British Biotech Wants Bailout

Move over, Detroit automakers. The United Kingdom’s biotech industry wants a spot among those queuing for government financial help during the global economic downturn. "All of us have concluded that this is the most serious, dire situation that the sector has ever been in. We are teetering on the edge of the abyss," Christopher Evans, founder of the medical sciences investment house Excalibur, told the Daily Telegraph last week.  Evans and 21 other U.K. biotech leaders want their government to provide up to £500 million for two funds, one that would help small firms consolidate and one that would bankroll companies needing money to grow. According to the Financial Times, Evans says biotech companies would give up equity for the money, offering the promise that the U.K. government could earn the cash back down the road. The biotech leaders recently prepared a dossier on their proposal for government officials, although there's no word on whether they made the mistake of using a private jet to deliver the document.