The strategic questions behind diaDexus

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SmithKline Beecham is gambling that its new 50/50 joint venture with Incyte Pharmaceuticals Inc. for molecular diagnostics discovery can make a viable business solely by developing and commercializing diagnostics. As a result of the deal's structure, diaDexus inevitably will produce some products that identify conditions for which SmithKline is developing therapeutics. However, diaDexus is intended as a separate entity meant to sell diagnostics in a market that may increasingly package tests with specific therapies developed using the same technologies.

As announced last week, SmithKline (Philadelphia, Penn.) will move its entire

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