The biotechnology industry lost a combined $6.4 bln in 2004, according to Ernst & Young. Revenues worldwide grew 17% to $54.6 bln based on the study of 641 public companies and 3,775 private companies. The industry raised a total of $17 bln from investors in 2004. Venture capitalists invested $3.6 bln last year. Biotechnology remains a money-losing, niche industry of 1,400 companies that employ about 183,000 workers nationwide.