Back to School 1994: Clear route II

Back to School Issue

This fall season of the year brings with it a renewal of energy and the hope that biotech's dog days finally are behind it. Stock prices are up and the pipeline is chock-a-block with companies nearing the completion of late-stage milestones. Some really good corporate partnerships have been launched and time is running out for 1994 to be the year of the oft-predicted industry consolidation.

Like last fall, this seems an appropriate time to review the common agenda for moving into the new year. And, like last year's Back-to-School edition, the emphasis is on the ultimate source of value creation in the sector - individual company performance.

Making money

This year, we propose that the question at hand is probably the most basic one of all - how a company intends to make money.

By the end of September, BioCentury and The Carson Group, along with our contributing sponsors, will have put 60 public and private companies in front of Wall Street this year. And anyone scanning the index to BioCentury will get a good idea about the number of companies whose stories pass through the pages of this journal each week. We see a lot of companies.

We are often surprised and even perturbed by the lack of thought being put into commercialization of products. And as we ponder questions about corporate development and value creation, the question that keeps cropping up is, "How is this biotech company going to make money?"

In many cases, if the company knows how, it isn't doing a good job of explaining itself.

Companies often are too glib about the size of their markets. Too often, we still see

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