EmergingCo: A Virtual “South-South” Biotech Model

The article proposes a “virtual” biotech model for the emerging markets – termed EmergingCo – and develops a comparative financial model to argue that such a virtual biotech can deliver drug candidates from discovery through proof-of-concept (Phase II) more cost effectively than the traditional drug development paradigm. Data from published studies on drug development costs have been compared with a cost structure model for EmergingCo using a framework where all R&D can be accomplished through a virtual network of partnerships within emerging markets. A couple of case studies from China and India are used to lend support to the cost structure model. Such a model, either as a venture backed company or a virtual unit of big pharma, could provide an alternate vehicle for delivering mid-to late stage clinical candidates, similar to Lilly’s Chorus model.

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