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Straw into gold

The acquisition of Adnexus Therapeutics Inc. by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. is an object lesson in how one company can fail to make the proper use of a foundation technology while another acquires it and in three years turns a $4 million purchase into a $500 million jackpot.

Bristol-Myers is acquiring Adnexus for its Adnectin protein platform, with which the pharma company already has some experience. The companies began collaborating in February: Adnexus was using its PROfusion protein design engine to select and optimize up to six Adnectin compounds to treat cancer. BMY (New York, N.Y.) had exclusive worldwide rights to resulting compounds, and Adnexus (Waltham, Mass.)

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