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Organon Reboots with Biotech

Executive Summary

Organon's biologics R&D push relects similar moves by other mid-sized firms, and could help the company recover after a series of setbacks. But building biotech from discovery upwards will take time.

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Private Equity Comes to Discovery

Through what could be a $550 million investment, Invus wants to play for Lexicon the role Roche has played for Genentech, enabling the biotech to finance both its more advanced projects and its discovery programs-something it couldn't do with smaller public market offerings or with lower-value deals on early-stage programs. The financial lynchpin for Invus: the huge prices Big Pharma is willing to pay for Phase II products. Will other private-equity firms follow Invus' lead?

Private Equity Comes to Discovery

Through what could be a $550 million investment, Invus wants to play for Lexicon the role Roche has played for Genentech, enabling the biotech to finance both its more advanced projects and its discovery programs-something it couldn't do with smaller public market offerings or with lower-value deals on early-stage programs. The financial lynchpin for Invus: the huge prices Big Pharma is willing to pay for Phase II products. Will other private-equity firms follow Invus' lead?

Schering-Plough Adds to Pipeline with Organon Acquisition

In a bold move it says will bolster its late-stage pipeline and provide necessary scale in sales and biologics manufacturing, Schering-Plough Corp. is acquiring the CNS and women's health specialist Organon BioSciences from Dutch conglomerate Akzo Nobel for $14.4 billion. For the acquisition to be a success, SP will have to find value where others have not--specifically in Organon's Phase III schizophrenia treatment asenapine, which was handed back to the company by Pfizer after disappoinging clinical results.

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