Deep-Pocketed Big Pharma Meets Spec Pharma's Challenge
In early 2006, we noted in this space that in-licensing on the part of specialty pharmaceutical start-ups was rising relative to Big Pharma's in-licensing rate, with specialty pharmas even out-competing Big Pharma in some specific cases for rights to promising clinical programs. Since then, however, Big Pharma's unprecedented late-stage spending spree has far outpaced spec pharma's licensing, particularly in clinical stage deals.
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While not yet rivals to Big Pharma when it comes to clinical-stage licensing, spec pharmas have in some individual cases proven to be more favored partners than their Big Pharma competitors.
In dermatology offshoot Intendis, Schering AG has created the ideal European crossbreed: a group with the management experience associated with spin-outs, and a revenue-generating side more typical of specialty pharma. The snag: Schering's retaining full ownership--for now.
Just three years after its founding, Chinese cell therapy developer IASO Bio already has two assets in clinical development and the Nanjing firm has recently attracted $60m in financing. In an exclusive interview, its R&D head told Scrip that speed and partnerships are propelling Chinese developers on a trajectory to quickly catch up with the west in the emerging cell-therapy arena.