12:00 AM
May 24, 2004
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

U.K. flagellation

UCB's Transformation

U.K. flagellation

While some national media are asking why British biotech companies can't seem to make it to the finish line, U.K. investors are more sanguine about how shareholders will benefit from last week's deal for Belgium's UCB Group to acquire Celltech Group plc. Nevertheless, the market watchers also can point out reasons for a continuing series of U.K. takeouts by foreign acquirers.

By one view, the proposed sale of Celltech (LSE:CCH; CLL, Slough, U.K.) is evidence of a flaw in the U.K. biotech business model, blamed variously on the lack of experienced management, lack of investor interest in technology, or the drip-feed style of financing prevalent in Europe.

"Companies just don't have the expertise in ultimately commercializing the products they develop," said Andy Smith, portfolio manager at 3i. "The largest market for biotech drugs and products is the U.S. So you need to be able to...

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