Hyseq Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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Life sciences investors pumped around $15 billion into 175 biotech, medtech and diagnostics firms that went public during the 2014–16 IPO window. To understand what may be in store for those firms and their backers, In Vivo reexamines the fate of a previous generation of companies, the IPO Class of 1997.
The merger of Cambridge Antibody Technology and Oxford GlycoSciences won't, in the short term, solve many of the problems that both share--namely, a lack of products, scant clinical development capabilities and a non-existent sales and marketing infrastructure. It does, however, create a financially stronger potential acquiror in a European biotech industry in need of consolidation.
Many biotechs, facing crisis situations in the fall of 2002, opted for deals that kept them alive but hardly offered much hope for upside. But in the coming months, boards may need to be far more realistic about their long-term prospects and consider a full range of options, including liquidation, when assessing a company's future.
Until now, Perlegen contends, pharmacogenomics has failed to deliver because no one has had the statistical power to show connections. With its whole genome scanning technology, Perlegen aims to prove that it can come up with usable and predictive markers of drug response by inexpensively screening for millions of SNPs and analyzing subsequent patterns--even without any significant biological understanding. The start-up aims to use its technology to help compounds win regulatory approval and more market share than they otherwise could. Perlegen also plans to support in-licensed drug candidates and seek disease genes. It wants a share of drug sales its studies enable, and to leverage all the IP it can capture. Absent its own drug discovery and development program, Perlegen needs partners to provide the compounds and clinical samples with which it can create pharmacogenomic data and secure an FDA imprimatur. Competitors argue that smaller sets of data, informed by a clearer biological understanding, will provide equally effective pharmacogenomic data, cheaper.