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Organizational Scope and Investment: Evidence from the Drug Development Strategies and Performance of Biopharmaceutical Firms

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  • Ilan Guedj
  • David Scharfstein

Abstract

This paper compares the clinical trial strategies and performance of large, established ("mature") biopharmaceutical firms to those of smaller ("early stage") firms that have not yet successfully developed a drug. We study a sample of 235 cancer drug candidates that entered clinical trials during the period 1990-2002 and were sponsored by public firms. Early stage firms are more likely than mature firms to advance drug candidates from Phase I to Phase II clinical trials. However, early stage firms have much less promising clinical results in their Phase II trials and their Phase II drug candidates are also less likely to advance to Phase III and to receive Food and Drug Administration approval. This pattern is more pronounced for early stage firms with large cash reserves. The evidence points to an agency problem between shareholders and managers of single-product early stage firms who are reluctant to abandon development of their only viable drug candidates. By contrast, the managers of mature firms with multiple products in development are more willing to drop unpromising drug candidates. The findings appear to be consistent with the benefits of internal capital markets identified by Stein (1997).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10933.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10933

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  1. David S. Scharfstein, 1998. "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets II: Evidence from Diversified Conglomerates," NBER Working Papers 6352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. DiMasi, Joseph A. & Hansen, Ronald W. & Grabowski, Henry G., 2003. "The price of innovation: new estimates of drug development costs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 151-185, March.
  3. Vojislav Maksimovic & Gordon Phillips, 2002. "Do Conglomerate Firms Allocate Resources Inefficiently Across Industries? Theory and Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(2), pages 721-767, 04.
  4. Jeremy C. Stein, 1995. "Internal Capital Markets and the Competition for Corporate Resources," NBER Working Papers 5101, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David S. Scharfstein & Jeremy C. Stein, 2000. "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets: Divisional Rent-Seeking and Inefficient Investment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2537-2564, December.
  6. Naveen Khanna, 2001. "The Bright Side of Internal Capital Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1489-1528, 08.
  7. Raghuram Rajan & Henri Servaes & Luigi Zingales, . "The Cost of Diversity: The Diversification Discount and Inefficient Investment," CRSP working papers 357, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  8. Josh Lerner & Alexander Tsai, 2000. "Do Equity Financing Cycles Matter? Evidence from Biotechnology Alliances," NBER Working Papers 7464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hyun-Han Shin & René M. Stulz, 1998. "Are Internal Capital Markets Efficient?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 531-552, May.
  10. Jensen, Michael C, 1986. "Agency Costs of Free Cash Flow, Corporate Finance, and Takeovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 323-29, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Sharon Belenzon & Tomer Berkovitz, 2010. "Innovation in Business Groups," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(3), pages 519-535, March.
  2. Joseph Golec & Shantaram Hegde & John A. Vernon, 2005. "Pharmaceutical Stock Price Reactions to Price Constraint Threats and Firm-Level R&D Spending," NBER Working Papers 11229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Marinelli, Federico, 2008. "Persistence of outstanding performance and shareholder value among diversified firms: The impact of past performance, efficient internal capital market, and relatedness of business segments," IESE Research Papers D/758, IESE Business School.
  4. HansK. Hvide, 2009. "The Quality of Entrepreneurs," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1010-1035, 07.
  5. Malcolm Baker & Richard S. Ruback & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2004. "Behavioral Corporate Finance: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ashish Arora & Alfonso Gambardella & Laura Magazzini & Fabio Pammolli, 2009. "A Breath of Fresh Air? Firm Type, Scale, Scope, and Selection Effects in Drug Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(10), pages 1638-1653, October.
  7. Finn Valentin & Henrich Dahlgren & Rasmus Lund Jensen, 2006. "Research Strategies in Science-based Start-ups - Effects on performance in Danish and Swedish biotechnology," DRUID Working Papers 06-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  8. Allain, Marie-Laure & Henry, Emeric & Kyle, Margaret K, 2011. "Inefficiencies in technology transfer: theory and empirics," CEPR Discussion Papers 8206, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09iatrn4log is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Hvide, Hans K. & Kristiansen, Eirik Gaard, 2012. "Management of Knowledge Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 6609, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Sharon Belenzon & Tomer Berkovitz, 2007. "Innovation in business groups," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19661, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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