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GSK/Exelixis and In-Licensing: Earlier, Richer, Rarer

Executive Summary

The broad partnership to discover and commercialize drugs in vascular biology, inflammatory diseases, and oncology announced this month between GlaxoSmithKline and Exelixis recalls the halcyon big-deal era of 2000. But the new deal's objects, structure, and value confirm industry changes in the last two-plus years: a focus on compounds, not discovery-stage science; that Big Pharma's poor R&D productivity is becoming obvious even to its research leadership; and that the biotechs who can sign these kinds of deals combine a set of discovery technologies into a package that, theoretically, produces clinical compounds.

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