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Roche's Challenging Biomarker Strategy

Executive Summary

Large pharma companies are increasingly interested in using biomarkers to shorten R&D timelines and reduce the risks of developing new drugs. Roche says its recently formalized biomarker program benefits from the firm's unique expertise in diagnostics. But like its competitors embarked on siimilar efforts, Roche won't know the value of this complex undertaking for years.

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Five years after the genomics bubble burst and financing doors shut, a small window may be opening for research tool suppliers that help pharma improve R&D efficiency and cost structure. But clinically-oriented research companies face particular challenges, notably how to build a business where customer adoption is slow but technology is evolving rapidly and investors are impatient.

Cyclacel's Mechanistic Approach to R&D

Cyclacel does not have a late-stage or marketed product. But a singular focus on the biology of the cell cycle, a strong early-stage pipeline and a set of broadly applicable biomarker technologies that may minimize development risk has kept investors interested. Cyclacel has been able to complement its internal pipeline with two recent in-licensing deals, and as capital cautiously returns to European biotech, the company expects to leverage its approach to build value not only in cancer but in other proliferative diseases as well.

Roche Diagnostics' New Marker Mandate

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