Reliant: The Expensive Opportunities in Primary Care
Reliant's business model -- building a new company to sell the primary care products that looked too puny for Big Pharma -- posed management and financing challenges that almost killed the company. It's turned around, thanks to new management and a product in a hot area-lipids. But what's really got its investors excited: the opportunities posed by late-stage primary-care failures at Big Pharmas, who are now looking for market-proven products. And those Big Pharmas can help pay the acquisition cost by dismantling the costly infrastructure created to prove the product's value in the first place.
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Profitable but pipeline-poor Enzon tried to build a road back to R&D. But its value-oriented investors wouldn't support the spending ambitions, particularly as their royalty income declined. Enzon tried to merge with NPS, a pipeline-rich unprofitable company, hoping to transform its conservative shareholder base for one looking for biopharma-type home runs--but there too ran smack into the immovable force of investor inertia.