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Crucell Falls Back on Vaccines

Executive Summary

Forced by a series of setbacks to downsize its antibody platform, Crucell is now turning to vaccine applications of its human cell production technology to satisfy its product developer ambitions.

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Shire has been buffeted by management upheaval and generic and branded competition. But the group's foray into vaccines is a sensible long-term bet, offering it a low-risk route into R&D.

Long End of the Stick

Sustainable and increasingly focused, mid-sized vaccines companies are leading the way in European biotech, catalyzed by fears of bioterrorism and a re-emerging belief that prevention trumps cure, both practically and pharmaco-economically.

Crucell Cuts a Good Bargain

J&J Centocor's deal with Crucell demonstrates how large pharma companies are being forced to make bigger sacrifices in return for potential products. Centocor is believed to be paying just $2 million, with $1-2 million in annual fees but the deal value could reach $100 million and give J&J an opportunity to strengthen its oncology product line. And Crucell gets closer to its goal of being a product company without taking on all the risks of drug development.

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