For biotech companies whose business models center around providing therapeutic targets for big pharma partners, success hinges on the ability of that partner to successfully generate and develop compounds against that target. But if such a compound fails to pan out, it is the biotech company that takes the hit.

Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corp.'s stock has dropped to $4.938 from $15.375 in March owing primarily to two discontinued clinical programs by its pharma collaborators. But the