Boston Biomedical Inc.'s story shows what can happen when researchers are given the imperative and the resources to invent as if their livelihoods depend on it. The company emerged from ArQule Inc. in 2006 and in six years has generated a Phase III-ready cancer stem cell program that fetched a $200 million acquisition offer from Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. Ltd.

In addition to the upfront payment, Boston Biomedical shareholders could receive up to $540 million in development milestones and $1.9 billion in sales milestones if its two lead programs are successful.