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Private Equity Comes to Discovery

Executive Summary

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?

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