It is a fact of life that the more advanced a compound, the more leverage a company has when it comes to partnering. With $385 million in the bank, OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc. could have waited until after Phase III or even after FDA approval to license its OSI-774 cancer compound, which is in Phase II trials. But the company decided that the need to play catch-up with competitor AstraZeneca plc, coupled with a bidding war that led to deal terms similar to those for a compound in registration, made it prudent to do a worldwide deal with Genentech Inc. and F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. sooner rather than later.

OSI-774 is a small molecule inhibitor of the