Biotechnology drug discovery efforts often focus on potency - the affinity that a compound has against a particular target. While such affinity is useful from a biological standpoint, it is not the only factor in determining whether a compound succeeds in subsequent development.

Indeed, Robert Lipper, vice president of biopharmaceutics research and development at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (Princeton, N.J.), argues that biopharmaceutical parameters relating to formulation and delivery must be taken into account at an early stage to avoid selecting sub-optimal compounds for development, which can lead to costly delays.