A biotech company's capacity to partner usually is dictated by the number of companies interested in its technology. But Abgenix Inc. is in the enviable position of being able to turn the tables and set a cap on the number of antibody partnerships in which it chooses to participate in a given year. By setting a desired number of collaborations, ABGX keeps its cost structure under control.

The company has two basic forms of partnerships: ones in which a potential partner wants access to ABGX's XenoMouse technology to develop an antibody against a particular antigen, and those in which ABGX develops an antibody against an internal target and takes the product into the clinic before seeking a collaborator.