Translational Science by Public Biotechnology Companies in the IPO “Class of 2000, by Laura McNamee and Fred Ledley


The biotechnology industry plays a central role in the translation of nascent biomedical science into both products that offer material health benefits and creating capital growth. This study examines the relationship between the maturity of technologies in a characteristic life cycle and value creation by biotechnology companies. We examined the core technology, product development pipelines, and capitalization for a cohort of biotechnology companies that completed an IPO in 2000. Each of these companies was well financed and had core technologies on the leading edge of biological science. We found that companies with the least mature technologies had significantly higher valuations at IPO, but failed to develop products based on these technologies over the ensuing decade, and created less capital growth than companies with more mature technologies at IPO. The observation that this cohort of recently public biotechnology companies was not effective in creating value from nascent science suggests the need for new, evidence-based business strategies for translational science.

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