The second thing that's occurred is more cross-fertilization. It's not unusual now for us to interview people from biotech
in the Big Pharma jobs and vice-versa. The advantage is that biotech people think "speed." That doesn't mean [Big Pharma's]
slow, but they think about taking the most rapid path possible. We add in the moderation—adhering to regulatory guidelines
and so forth. That's worked well.
Stan Bernard, MD, MBA is a senior fellow at the Wharton School of Business, where he has been teaching Pharmaceutical Management
Senior executives from large companies who say, "I'd like to go out there and really live a dream" bring biotech the knowledge
of what it takes to make something commercially successful. It's not getting to market, but getting to Phase I so that when
Big Pharma partners come in, they're pleased with the work that's done.
Ron Pepin, PhD [Medarex] As a small company, we're pretty well financed, but it's nice to have someone else share the risk, especially when the partner
has expertise and other resources to throw into the mix.
GENERVON'S WINSTON KO, MBA (center) founded that company as a subsidiary of another one he founded, KM Biotech, whose focus
is the discovery of proprietary trophic factors and their genes.
Ed Broughton [Eisai] For Japanese companies, it's the tremendous urge to globalize. Not just to generate sales outside of Japan, but actually grow
businesses through partnerships that can take on new opportunities.
Barbara Yanni [Merck] We're seeing that same trend with small-and midsize European companies that want to enter the US market, and one way to do
that is through a partnership. That's been true for a long time, going back as far as the Astra-Merck deal struck in the early
1980s, but the trend has picked up a little.
Yanni and Ormsbee
The kinds of deals done today are perhaps different from those done in the past with biotech companies, many of whom started
out thinking they were a discovery house but now want to bring things all the way through. They often look forward to mounting
a sales force and commercializing and marketing their drug. [Biotechs] know, generally, that that is not something they'd
be able to do on their own, which is why they take on a partner. They look for a deal—and this is particularly true for the
Japanese companies—that can help them launch into a new territory, or launch them into the development or commercialization
phase of their product.