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Pharma's New Follow-On Strategy

Executive Summary

For all its noise and parties, speeches, and meetings, the 26th annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference felt more like an indecisive pause than the industry's first step into the new year. Biotech investors see their best exits through M&A, but activity's been unpredictable and less buoyant than expected. But generics and still-impoverished pipelines will force drug companies to make different choices. The quickest solution to pipeline problems is to imitate biotechs by developing or buying biotech products and technologies. These technologies allow Big Pharma to do with biologics what they used to do with small molecules: create fast-followers. Except that there's far more competition this time around.

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