Boehringer/Medivir: Filling Gaps, Spreading Risk
Boehringer Ingelheim's generous deal with Medivir for the Swedish group's Phase II HIV compound reflects Boehringer's need to fill a gap in its HIV portfolio. It's also the latest illustration of Medivir's growing deal making wisdom. The biotech spreads risk through adding a third HIV licensing partner alongside Roche and GSK. And by holding on to Nordic marketing rights, Medivir is more likely to stay involved in development decisions.
You may also be interested in...
Actelion reached profitability in record time by focusing from the start on the development and commercial end of the business. It in-licensed an unusually late-stage pipeline made up of compounds its founders helped develop, and built its own global sales and marketing infrastructure to maximize the value of its projects. Now Actelion plans to leverage growing profits to go back and nurture earlier stage research-a top-down biotech-building model that may prove inspirational to others.
Gilead's successful European rollout of Viread was helped by the homogeneity and high concentration of the European HIV treatment market. Viread has in turn catalyzed the integration of Gilead's hitherto fragmented European operations. The US biotech can now exploit its strong European network to secure in-licensing candidates and maximize profits from in-house follow-ons.
Gilead plans to maximize the value of its newly-approved anti-HIV drug Viread by launching the product in all major world markets within a year-and by promoting it with the same look, messages and image everywhere. Gilead's campaign will make the point that its product helps patients' drug combinations work better, even if they're failing. By positioning the product this way, Gilead may avoid head-to-head competition with far bigger players. The company got into position to globally market Viread by acquiring NeXstar in 1999, then quickly re-organizing and filling out the very skinny marketing groups it inherited in major European markets. The relatively small company is betting that the cost efficiencies of global branding will bring it a better return on investment, and so help it grow a business that is already highly valued.