Can Isis Remain A Platform Company?
With a bulging pipeline, piles of cash, and Big Pharma partners knocking on its doors, Isis believes it is under no pressure to sell its own products. But several factors – including outside pressures and issues intrinsic to Isis’ platform model – are coming into play that may hasten its evolution into an integrated biopharma. And for the first time, Isis management appears open to the possibility.
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The antisense company has made it clear that it will not pursue commercialization of its own drugs, but intends to partner out all of its assets, while still retaining the most advantageous economics. Its fourth agreement with Biogen Idec, a strategic collaboration, is the most extensive and lucrative to date with the partner.
A typical mature biotech company evolves over four discrete stages – from the initial discovery stage through the preclinical and early clinical stage, then to the late clinical trials and commercial build-out – before it becomes a fully integrated biotech company. The final transition is a make-or-break scenario for any biotech company, and high-quality marketed products alone don’t guarantee a successful transformation.
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