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Si les Biotech ont parfois besoin d’intégrer des leads avancés afin de disposer d’un pipe-line bien charpenté pour séduire les marchés financiers, les Big Phama ont la problématique de gérer les accords de out-licensing en préservant l’intérêt bien compris des actionnaires.

The New Out-Licensing Start-Ups: Securing Product Supply
(Start-Up: Windhover’s Review of Emerging Medical Ventures, December 2005 page 14)
The drug industry should be in the heyday of Big Pharma out-licensing. Pharmaceutical companies are zealously preaching the religion of asset management. They want to spend their money only on the likeliest, most lucrative compounds while monetizing or at least sharing the expenses for those which fall below some minimum risk/reward calculation. Lilly, Roche and GSK all have teams, or even, in GSK’s case, an entire unit, dedicated to out-licensing.
Meanwhile, biotechs can only rarely go public without products in clinical trials. So they’re combing drug-company pipelines, usually by hitting up their former colleagues still at large companies for possible in-licensing candidates.
But it isn’t easy. The same problems that have always kept Big Pharma from sending their projects to biotech remain.

Est-il possible, voire souhaitable, de développer un business important sans le capital risque ? Des exemples réussis suscitent une réflexion de fond.

Nothing Ventured, Something Gained
(Start-Up: Windhover’s Review of Emerging Medical Ventures, December 2005 page 21)
Given the wide applications of its technology, Affinergy is precisely the kind of company that one would assume would have a large stable of venture capital investors and would-be investors. But it isn’t. Instead, Affinergy has joined a growing number of medical device start-ups that are using a variety of strategies—in Affinergy’s case, a combination of angel investors, government grants, and corporate partners—to go all the way to commercialization or exit without relying on venture capital funding.
It’s difficult to say how widespread the trend toward what might be called alternatively financed companies is, and some industry observers point out that alternative sources of capital, such as angels, have been around for years.

Pour le reste des résumés :

The New Out-Licensing Start-Ups: Securing Product Supply
(Start-Up: Windhover’s Review of Emerging Medical Ventures, December 2005 page 14)

The drug industry should be in the heyday of Big Pharma out-licensing. Pharmaceutical companies are zealously preaching the religion of asset management. They want to spend their money only on the likeliest, most lucrative compounds while monetizing or at least sharing the expenses for those which fall below some minimum risk/reward calculation. Lilly, Roche and GSK all have teams, or even, in GSK’s case, an entire unit, dedicated to out-licensing.

Meanwhile, biotechs can only rarely go public without products in clinical trials. So they’re combing drug-company pipelines, usually by hitting up their former colleagues still at large companies for possible in-licensing candidates.

But it isn’t easy. The same problems that have always kept Big Pharma from sending their projects to biotech remain. Out-licensing is as expensive and time-consuming as in-licensing but generates smaller potential yet equally uncertain rewards. Out-licensers are always worried about the “embarrassment factor”: what if the out-licensed compound becomes a major success whose value escapes its original Big Pharma owner?

Biotechs face a significant issue of their own: how to assure themselves a reasonably priced source of supply.

Thus a relatively new crop of biotechs have emerged with strategies to deal with the problems on both sides of the licensing equation. Those whose businesses will depend on a continuous stream of in-licensed products are trying to create significant structural advantages in winning the licensing competition—often through “preferred provider” relationships with out-licensers. And to deal with the Big Pharmas’ problems, all the start-ups are figuring out how to make the extra work of out-licensing worthwhile for their large partners. In particular, after years of resisting the idea, they’re now allowing their Big Pharma partners the right to buy back the compounds, usually after clinical proof of concept.

And that ability to take a product back—or, in any event, the possibility of getting something more than royalties or milestones—is what fundamentally makes in-licensing strategies for start-ups at all reproducible. Indeed, out-licensing is in fact best considered a kind of value-added, low-risk project financing for Big Pharma: biotechs who want to pursue the strategy as a sustainable business have to keep expenses off the pharma’s P&L and deliver at a relatively near-term and low-risk option to bolster its pipeline.

Nothing Ventured, Something Gained
(Start-Up: Windhover’s Review of Emerging Medical Ventures, December 2005 page 21)

drug/device convergence companies, developing what Anderson calls a “site-specific” biological coating that may help selected medical devices, such as coronary stents and total joint replacements, achieve a heightened therapeutic effect.

Indeed, given the wide applications of its technology, Affinergy is precisely the kind of company that one would assume would have a large stable of venture capital investors and would-be investors. But it isn’t. Instead, Affinergy has joined a growing number of medical device start-ups that are using a variety of strategies—in Affinergy’s case, a combination of angel investors, government grants, and corporate partners—to go all the way to commercialization or exit without relying on venture capital funding.

It’s difficult to say how widespread the trend toward what might be called alternatively financed companies is, and some industry observers point out that alternative sources of capital, such as angels, have been around for years. Moreover, even advocates of alternative financing strategies insist that venture capital will remain the dominant form of start-up funding for quite a while. But anecdotally at least, the trend away from venture financing seems to be gaining advocates, particularly among device start-ups with unconventional business models or products that play in small market niches. In the process, these new financing models are giving small device companies that have been turned down by VCs or found their terms difficult to swallow, some hope.

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