Buying big into biotech: scale, financing, and the industrial dynamics of UK biotech, 1980–2009

Hopkins, Michael M, Crane, Philippa A, Nightingale, Paul and Baden-Fuller, Charles (2013) Buying big into biotech: scale, financing, and the industrial dynamics of UK biotech, 1980–2009. Industrial and Corporate Change, 22 (4). pp. 903-952. ISSN 0960-6491

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Abstract

This article explores how the UK’s biotech firms have evolved in response to their financial environment. As investors’ expectations about the potential of biotech have changed, funding options have opened up and closed down, leading firms to develop new business models and routes of technology development. After a favorable period, new constraints on stock market funding have forced UK biotech firms to compress their life cycles, constraining their ability to generate the late-stage drug candidates sought by large pharmaceutical firms. These changes are analyzed within a neo-Chandlerian framework in the context of a selection environment where rather than firms of varying inefficiencies being selected by an efficient market, we find entrepreneurs submitting themselves to an inefficient investment-selection process at the intersection of industries attempting to achieve their own scale economies. The article highlights the importance of the scale of investment at the firm and industry level, and suggests that decline in the size of the industry can have adverse consequences for investment and firm performance in this setting.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences
T Technology > TP Chemical technology > TP0248.13 Biotechnology
Depositing User: Janet Snow
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2013 09:03
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2017 06:28
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/43078

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