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Exelixis: Bartering for Growth

Executive Summary

This genomics-based company has used business development as a strategic tool, swapping for key capacities that have helped it quickly leap forward. As the company demonstrated the merits of its model-organism platform, it began asking partners not for the most money they would give--but for assets that would help it forward integrate. One deal that started small expanded into a life-changing technology swap: from BMS, Exelixis got combinatorial chemistry capacity that it can now use to make compounds against its own targets. It also got a Phase II drug candidate for cancer, and rights to half of the molecules it makes for BMS, and Exelixis has used its new chemistry capacity to sign other barter-driven deals. Rapid evolution has risks: unless Exelixis accesses other fairly mature drug candidates, there will be a gap between launch of its first product and other compounds that haven't been tried yet in humans.

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Exelixis Cashes In on Discovery

Exelixis has long used business development as a strategic tool, both to acquire key capacities that have helped it build an extensive early-stage product pipeline and to creatively fund that upstream activity. Now, the biotech is beginning to convert some of that early pipeline into the cash and clinical expertise it will need to fund and run in-house product development.

Exelixis Cashes In on Discovery

Exelixis has long used business development as a strategic tool, both to acquire key capacities that have helped it build an extensive early-stage product pipeline and to creatively fund that upstream activity. Now, the biotech is beginning to convert some of that early pipeline into the cash and clinical expertise it will need to fund and run in-house product development.

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