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Why has the biotechnology industry failed to perform up to expectations—despite all its promise? In Science Business, Gary P. Pisano answers this question by providing an incisive critique of the industry. Pisano not only reveals the underlying causes of biotech's problems; he offers the most sophisticated analysis yet on how the industry works. And he provides clear prescriptions for companies, investors, and policy makers seeking ways to improve the industry's performance. According to Pisano, the biotech industry's problems stem from its special character as a science-based business. This character poses three unique business challenges: how to finance highly risky investments under profound uncertainty and long time horizons for R&D, how to learn rapidly enough to keep pace with advances in drug science knowledge, and how to integrate capabilities across a broad spectrum of scientific and technological knowledge bases.The key to fixing the industry? Business models, organisational structures, and financing arrangements that place greater emphasis on integration and long-term learning over shorter—term 'monetisation' of intellectual property. Pisano maintains that all industry players—biotech firms, investors, universities, pharmaceutical companies, government regulators—can play a role in righting the industry. The payoff? Valuable improvements in health care, and a shinier future for human well-being.
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"A very insightful analysis of the remarkable evolution of the biotech industry. This is required reading for all involved in this process, biotechnology entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, academics, research centers, policy makers and investors.
- Henri Termeer, Chairman, President and CEO, Genzyme Corporation
“In this startling and cogent diagnosis of, and prognosis for, the biotechnology industry, Gary Pisano weaves a powerful economic argument that all is not well in biotechnology, an industry that should be the best hope for a better healthcare for us all. We in the industry need better to grapple with the challenges posed by this provocative book."
- Dr. Josh Boger, President and CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals
“The industrial structure that has arisen in the United States to develop and exploit the potential of biotechnology is widely regarded as extremely effective. But is it? Few biotech firms have made a profit, and the rate of introduction of new effective pharmaceuticals is not impressive. Gary Pisano’s fine study is the first to bring these ideas into the open, analyze them, and reflect on what they might mean for the future of biotechnology.”
- Richard Nelson, George Blumenthal Professor of International and Public Affairs, Business and Law, Emeritus, Columbia University
“Gary Pisano's analysis uncovers surprising facts about the industry's innovation power and productivity, challenging conventional wisdom. Science Business is refreshing and inspiring for anyone who is interested in the future success of biotechnology, including life science executives, investors, policy-makers and, most importantly, the patients who it has the potential to help the most"
- Dr. Daniel Vasella, Chairman & CEO, Novartis AGAbout the Author:
Gary P. Pisano is the Harry E. Figgle Jr. Professor of Business Administration and Head of the Technology and Operations Management unit at Harvard Business School.
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