GEN readers foresee trouble over the coming year for startup biopharma companies trying to do business in California. More than one-third of respondents (36.1%) delivered the gloomiest forecast of “stormy,” while just over another one-third (33.7%) predicted a “cloudy” future for California startups, and only 19.3% foresaw a “sunny” next 12 months. The remainder (10.8%) was undecided.

The results reflect how much California’s image has been tarnished among biotech and pharma startups despite its Golden State nickname, as companies struggle to navigate the financial squeeze and a combination of federal and state red tape. Nearly three-quarters (74.2%) of some 100 CEOs surveyed recently said their companies were forced to delay a research or development project in the last year. When asked why, more than two-thirds cited either lack of available financing, heavy-handed regulation, or both. Some CEOs are looking at expanding overseas.

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