If you are in the biotech and pharma industries and are not using LinkedIn, you may be missing something. That is according to Luke Timmerman, Xconomy national biotech editor, who writes recently, “While many in the tech press mock LinkedIn as an oh-so-boring compiler of mere resumes, it has become the indispensable online hub for networking in life sciences—an industry where relationships make the world go round.”

While it might pale by comparison member wise to Facebook—187 million members versus 1 billion—Timmerman says, “LinkedIn is the singular site for finding people in biotech, whether they are biologists, chemists, toxicologists, admin assistants, business development people, finance pros, or CEOs.” A search he conducted recently produced more than 513,000 people in the LinkedIn database who self-identify as members of the “biotechnology” or “pharmaceutical” industry.

Timmerman notes that some areas on the LinkedIn site are far from perfect, complaining that one of the most irritating aspects about the site is that “even though it has achieved critical mass, many C-suite executives and venture capitalists still resist signing up. For example, when I searched on the 40 names of ‘young and proven‘ biotech venture capitalists listed in this column two weeks ago, only 24 of the 40 (60 percent) showed up in the LinkedIn database.”

“I find it baffling that so many senior people in the industry still resist taking advantage of this resource, and [you] have to wonder if they have some better idea on how to network. There’s no getting around the importance of networking. Biotech is a geographically far-flung industry, with hundreds of companies and vendors, who all need to work together in trusting relationships to keep the whole enterprise afloat.”

Meanwhile, Timmerman has opined in a more recent column that biotech financing is on the upswing and involves “[a] whole new class of investment banking firms [that have] stepped up to compete for the business of helping biotech companies raise money.” According to his optimistic analysis of this year’s class of 12 biotech company IPOs, 21 different firms participated, including some the more recognizable underwriters, such as JP Morgan, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and Lazard Capital Markets. See Xconomy, November 5 and 12, 2012.