U.S. Biotech Industry Note

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INDUSTRY NOTE. Strategy in a typical « biotech » company is determined by the capital markets rather than driven by customers.

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U.S. Biotech Industry Note: Abstract

Two elements have differentiated the « biotech industry » from traditional industries: The first is the need for access to large amounts of capital, long in advance of having a « product » that a « customer » could buy; and the second is the requirement to meet stringent government regulatory controls. Strategy in a typical « biotech » company is determined by the capital markets rather than driven by customers. In the period 1990-2003, capital markets supplied over $100 billion to biotech firms.

The note includes:

  • Background on the biotech industry and a brief industry fact summary (focus-healthcare)
  • A « layman’s language » note on the science that created biotech
  • The role of information technology (bioinformatics) in its development
  • Tthe role of government as regulator and grantor of intellectual property rights
  • Capital markets and trends shaping the industry
  • The industry’s main business models
  • A brief discussion of some underlying ethical dilemmas

Additional information

Teaching notes are available for teachers only. Contact the HEC Montréal Case Centre for more information.

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