In an effort to address declining R&D productivity in the pharmaceutical industry, many companies have looked to the innovative entrepreneurialism that characterised the original “biotech” companies of the 1970’s and 80’s. This has resulted in numerous restructurings and changes to processes and culture. But what is the real “biotech-like” mentality that the industry is seeking? In this paper we offer our views on what sets the best biotechs apart: focus, flexibility, capital discipline, external oversight, project orientation and culture. We then use a simple, directional set of parameters to assess a group of MidPharmas on these attributes, with some expected and unexpected outcomes and plenty of interesting questions. We offer our views on why MidPharmas provide the ideal environment in which stability and scale can complement the dynamism of the original biotechs, providing a winning combination for long term success.
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We have worked collaboratively with Novasecta over many years across a range of strategic topics. I have particularly valued how they really understand and care about our business, and how they manage to apply their deep industry insights to our context. This has brought my Management Team and Board to clarity and alignment on practical strategic moves at important moments in our evolution as a company.Kjetil Hestdal