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Roche's Partners: Replacing, or Fuelling In-House R&D?

Executive Summary

Partnering is a must for every drug firm these days. But Roche's reputation as a committed, yet hands-off development partner--forged in its relationship with Genentech--still sets it apart. Critics accuse the Swiss group of using partners to fill the gap in its own R&D; indeed, much of Roche's recent growth has come from others' drugs. Roche executives argue that you can't spot winners outside without a strong internal engine; that engine remains unproven. But point isn't whether Roche's own R&D is strong or weak. The point is, does it matter?

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