Archive for 2009

VC's don't read business plans; So, what to do?

A recent UMD study has found that VCs pay little attention ot the content of business plans.This is not much of a surprise. I’m generally bearish on business plans, but I do recognize their important role. Having written several business plans and having successfully competed in business plan competitions, I’ve recognized that many of the […]

Creative Destruction in Biotechnology

For all the talk of the numerous biotechnology companies with mere months of cash left and the predictions of looming liquidations, mergers, and acquisitions, it is important to note that a measure of destruction can benefit industry progress. Economy Joseph Schumpeter coined a term for industrial progress through destruction: creative destruction. In this process, growth […]

Assessing India’s Innovation Climate

In 2005 India mostly strengthened their patent laws to meet international norms, with the distinct requirement that new drug products must “differ significantly in properties with regard to efficacy.” This requirement for a significant improvement in efficacy only applies to drugs — not to other patentable inventions like pens, car engines, etc., and is of […]

An Overview of the Biopharmaceutical Landscape Ahead

John Avellanet, a frequent contributor to this blog, is giving a talk for my biotechnology management class at the NIH next week. He’s posted his slides and some background readings on his web site at These materials will only be available until April 25th, so hurry on over and read them.

Measuring global biotechnology innovation

The Scientific American WorldView project, where I’ve been serving as lead editorial consultant, is ramping up for its May 20th launch at BIO 2009. One of the objectives for the project was to put marketing-speak aside and objectively measure biotechnology innovation progress around the world. Going beyond gross regional measures, we compare individual countries to […]

Will Roche Spin Genentech Off Again?

Does Roche’s recent acquisition of Genentech mean the end of the big-biotech business model? Has Genentech lost it’s independence? Not so, if history decides to repeat itself. Roche has already bought (and sold) Genentech once before. It’s not unimaginable to think that they’re using the current economic crisis to do another value-based flip. Using an […]

Entrepreneurship: What Not to Do

I’ll be giving a talk at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Entrepreneurship Conference on March 21st titled “Entrepreneurship: What Not to Do.” The talk will cover cases in failed entrepreneurship in biotechnology, elucidating some of the forseeable and unforseeable factors which can lead to failure. Hope to see some readers there. If you can’t […]