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Division of UCB Group

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Antibody Opportunities

Antibodies are driving valuations at many public companies--and the aspirations of start-ups with new means of generating, tailoring and harnessing the proteins.

BioPharmaceutical Strategy

Leveraging Antibodies

Human antibodies are hot. Three leading companies with patented means for making them are battling for partners and strategic position, anxious to sign alliances before current competitors muscle in, or next-generation technologies come along. Abgenix and Medarex effectively share a duopoly on transgenic mice that make human antibodies. Both firms license their technologies on an antigen-by-antigen basis, but are moving to build more value by deploying the methods on their own behalf, and via 50/50 deals with companies willing to share targets and development costs. Cambridge Antibody Technology is the leading promoter of phage-display technology, a bacterially-based, relatively high throughput method of making human antibody fragments that can be used as reagents to validate targets, or built up into drugs. Owning products is the end-game for all three players. But their approaches to the goal differ, particularly in the way they're structuring deals and the number of products they intend to put into clinical development.

BioPharmaceutical Strategy

Mid-Sized Pharma in Mega-Sized Markets

As it begins to market its own version of the popular drug Ritalin, Alza Corp. is likely to encounter physicians with their own kind of attention deficit disorder. Alza hopes to distinguish Concerta from a crowd of ADHD drugs already on the market, by stressing its compliance advantage. But Alza needs extra sales help. It thus signed up McNeil Consumer HealthCare to co-promote Concerta.


Intercytex Ltd.

Intercytex Ltd will avoid the gap from laboratory to man with implants that get the body to do its own tissue engineering. The company's first project will be a tissue-engineered kidney.

Medical Device Platform Technologies
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