01 October, 2006

Can Science Be a Business?

Harvard Business Review, 2006 (reprint R0610H)

In its 30 years of life, the biotechnology industry has attracted more than $300 billion in capital. Much of this investment has been based on the belief that biotech could transform health care. The original promise was that this new science, harnessed to new forms of entrepreneurial businesses that were deeply involved in advancing basic science, would produce a revolution in drug therapy. Unencumbered by the traditional technologies and organizations of the established pharmaceutical giants, these nimble, focused, science-based businesses would break down the wall between basic and applied science and produce a trove of new drugs; the drugs would generate vast profits; and, of course, investors would be handsomely rewarded.