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British Biotech--on the Road to Recovery?

Executive Summary

British Biotech, whose product setbacks and management missteps reduced its credibility to tatters and knocked the valuations of the UK biotech industry, is trying to rebuild itself, thanks to out-licensing deals with Schering-Plough and Serono, an in-licensing program designed to take advantage of its existing clinical infrastructure, and a shift towards anti-infectives.

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Recent M&A activity may have led to fewer top ranking UK biotech firms, but far from weakening the sector, it's actually providing opportunities for a newer generation of companies. Chroma Therapeutics Ltd. provides a good illustration of how experienced UK management talent is moving to lead younger, often private firms.

Chroma: Next Generation UK Biotech

Recent M&A activity may have led to fewer top ranking UK biotech firms, but far from weakening the sector, it's actually providing opportunities for a newer generation of companies. Chroma Therapeutics Ltd. provides a good illustration of how experienced UK management talent is moving to lead younger, often private firms.

UK Biotech Learns the Hard Way

A bunch of UK biotech firms are in trouble, some forced to restructure and others to seek financing on miserably expensive terms. All wish they'd raised more money during the funding bonanza of 2000. Challenging times such as these reveal lingering cracks--and lack of experience--in strategy and business management. This suggests that UK industry, although it has matured significantly since the brutal blow to confidence dealt by a major product failure at British Biotech during the sector's tender early years, still has some way to go.

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