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 excerpt from Building Biotechnology to illustrate, Roche pocketed several billion dollars when it bought and sold Genentech in 1999:
So, before you write-off Genentech, consider that Roche may simply decide to flip them again.
Amgen’s got a record of savvy patenting to protect their blockbusters, and they’ve just done it again.
A U.S. Federal District Court in Boston has ruled that Roche’s pegylated-erythropoietin infringes one of Amgen’s patents.
I’m eager to hear the backstory on this one. Amgen previously prevented Transkaryotic (now owned by Shire) from using a completely different production methodology to make a metabolite of Epogen. As described in my book, Building Biotechnology, Amgen’s strategy hinged upon filing continuation patents aimed specifically at Transkaryotic’s methods.
Litigation is expensive, but as Roche is demonstrating with their Vioxx defense strategy (that’s a whole other story), vigorously defending your case — and establishing a strong winning record — can eliminate the need to go to court!