Celltech's New Wherewithal
Britain's original biotech company, Celltech Group PLC, has lately made some strategic moves that make it the biggest biotech firm in all of Europe. The firm has been acquiring discovery, regulatory and marketing assets that will, it hopes, allow it to keep more of the value of its own antibody-based products. Celltech was able to do its acquisitions inexpensively, for stock, because the firms it bought were in trouble and poorly valued by the market. Their assets bring Celltech more potential than it has ever had. Big Pharma partnerships are still an option, but not a necessity. Celltech's challenge going forward is to integrate the new businesses, so they work well together. Even analysts clearly bullish on the company acknowledge the difficulty of the tasks awaiting management. Celltech, now in the spotlight as Europe's biggest biotech firm, possesses size and seniority. But neither will make it a market leader. Celltech must now successfully execute on tasks it has never before attempted.
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