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Millennium Gets a Product, and Capabilities

Executive Summary

Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s acquisition of Cor Therapeutics Inc. brings the technology integrator a marketed product (Integrilin), the infrastructure that supports it, and, in Vaughn Kailian, Cor's CEO who will now head Millennium's commercial operations, a highly capable biopharmaceutical executive. The firms says their research programs are complementary--even if they don't appear to be at first glance.

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Millennium: The Risks of Forward Integration

Millennium Pharmaceuticals has been spending much of the new century building a development organization. Much of this nuts-and-bolts endeavor came out of its acquisition of Cor Therapeutics in 2001, a transforming transaction that has delivered only mixed results, and has now put the company on a hard-to-steer and equally hard-to-alter course.

Millennium: The Risks of Forward Integration

Millennium Pharmaceuticals has been spending much of the new century building a development organization. Much of this nuts-and-bolts endeavor came out of its acquisition of Cor Therapeutics in 2001, a transforming transaction that has delivered only mixed results, and has now put the company on a hard-to-steer and equally hard-to-alter course.

Terra Infirma: Pharma Dealmaking 2001

With Big Pharma still trying to figure out how to create productive businesses from their mega-mergers, most of the year's high-value M&A saw biotechs buying late-stage or marketed products. But these biotechs are also, with the risk of development failure ever clearer, actively in-licensing and acquiring products and product-creating technologies in order to diversify what are often single-product portfolios. Unlike many Big Pharmas, these companies have been willing to improve existing chemical entities, often exploiting drug delivery and other pharmaceutical sciences. Meanwhile, large companies focused on late-stage in-licensing, in part because they couldn't afford acquisitions--given the valuation disparities between large companies and small ones with valuable late-stage products. Nonetheless, while more affordable than acquisitions, the high price of these deals has transferred the majority of the regulatory and commercial risk to the licensee. As for the early-stage side of the biotech industry: platform companies have not been able to sell their discovery technologies at anything like the prices they expected; as a result, many of them have merged in an effort to create product-focused discovery operations.

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