Skyepharma:Trying To Take Off From a Short Runway
Since 1998, through a series of inexpensive acquisitions, SkyePharma has assembled a wide range of drug delivery technologies, positioning itself as a one stop shop. But the company still has to convince both its customers, and its investors, that it has not sacrificed quality for quantity.
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SkyePharma fulfilled its profitability promise in 2002. Yet warnings of a revenue slip in the middle of 2003 have highlighted the group's reliance on the timing of uncertain milestones. But by building up its clinical and regulatory capabilities, increasing the proportion of its revenues derived from royalties, and leveraging a full pipeline which includes improved biologics, SkyePharma aims to increase its development control over its own and partners' programs and thereby maintain and grow its newfound profitability.
SkyePharma keeps its promise of profitability in 2002 by licensing its two most prominent pipeline candidates to Endo Pharmaceuticals. But now that the company has reached that benchmark, longer-term growth may require it to develop its own commercial capabilities.
Focused on small-molecule oral drug delivery and with a proven technology for solubilizing compounds, Eurand believes it can win the lion's share of a growing market for rescuing insoluble development-stage candidates, while at the same time increasing its percentage of the drugs' profits.