For platform companies, a key in attracting investors, partners or acquirers is the ability to offer value-added aspects that differentiate one's technology from the competition. For example, DuPont Pharmaceuticals' decision to acquire CombiChem Inc. last week for $95 million in cash was not solely for the biotech company's combinatorial chemistry technology, which DuPont could have licensed from a number of companies, but for CCHM's synthesis of combinatorial chemistry and computational software.

"The marriage of these two technologies allows