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Financial Contracting in Biotech Strategic Alliances

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  • David T. Robinson
  • Toby E. Stuart

Abstract

We analyze 125 strategic alliance contracts, all of which concern early-stage research at small biotechnology research and development companies. Staged investment is ubiquitous, but solutions to agency problems vary. The cycle of equity participation in alliances resembles what we observe in venture capital contracts: they involve convertible equity and sometimes contain antidilution provisions, warrants, and board seats. Contracts rights vary explicitly with the size of the equity stake. Contracts contain explicit provisions linking equity participation to subsequent initial public offerings and contain clauses designed to insulate both parties from multitasking problems. Contracts often specify provisions that are unobservable or difficult to verify, which suggests a role for expected litigation as an enforcement tool in contract design.

Suggested Citation

  • David T. Robinson & Toby E. Stuart, 2007. "Financial Contracting in Biotech Strategic Alliances," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 559-596.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:50:y:2007:p:559-596 DOI: 10.1086/519811
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    Cited by:

    1. Filson, Darren & Morales, Rosa, 2006. "Equity links and information acquisition in biotechnology alliances," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-28, January.
    2. Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Versaevel, Bruno, 2017. "One Lab, Two Firms, Many Possibilities: on R&D outsourcing in the biopharmaceutical industry," MPRA Paper 76903, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Bodnaruk, Andriy & Manconi, Alberto & Massa, Massimo, 2016. "Cross-border alliances and risk management," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 22-49.
    4. Reuer, Jeffrey & Devarakonda, S.V., 2016. "Mechanisms of hybrid governance : Administrative committees in non-equity alliances," Other publications TiSEM 063d9ccc-59c8-4e76-a77d-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Fang, Yiwei & Francis, Bill & Hasan, Iftekhar & Wang, Haizhi, 2012. "Product market relationships and cost of bank loans: Evidence from strategic alliances," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, pages 653-674.
    6. Josh Lerner & Ulrike Malmendier, 2010. "Contractibility and the Design of Research Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 214-246, March.
    7. Dhikra Chebbi Nekhili & Mehdi Nekhili, 2009. "Gouvernance contractuelle et cognitive des alliances internationales en R&D," Working Papers CREGO 1090505, Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations.
    8. Rin, Marco Da & Hellmann, Thomas & Puri, Manju, 2013. "A Survey of Venture Capital Research," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    9. Baker, George P. & Gibbons, Robert & Murphy, Kevin J., 2008. "Strategic alliances: Bridges between "islands of conscious power"," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, pages 146-163.
    10. Xinyu Hua, 2004. "Strategic Ex-ante Contracts: Rent-Extraction and Opportunity Costs," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 564, Econometric Society.
    11. Sharon Belenzon & Tomer Berkovitz & Patrick Bolton, 2009. "Intracompany Governance and Innovation," NBER Working Papers 15304, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Ozmel, Umit & Robinson, David T. & Stuart, Toby E., 2013. "Strategic alliances, venture capital, and exit decisions in early stage high-tech firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 655-670.
    13. Mc Namara, Peter & Baden-Fuller, Charles, 2007. "Shareholder returns and the exploration-exploitation dilemma: R&D announcements by biotechnology firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 548-565, May.
    14. Hansen, Zeynep & Higgins, Matthew, 2007. "The Effect of Contractual Complexity on Technology Sourcing Agreements," MPRA Paper 4979, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Boone, Audra L. & Ivanov, Vladimir I., 2012. "Bankruptcy spillover effects on strategic alliance partners," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(3), pages 551-569.
    16. Subramanian, Annapoornima M. & Lim, Kwanghui & Soh, Pek-Hooi, 2013. "When birds of a feather don’t flock together: Different scientists and the roles they play in biotech R&D alliances," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 595-612.
    17. Michael D. Ryall & Rachelle C. Sampson, 2009. "Formal Contracts in the Presence of Relational Enforcement Mechanisms: Evidence from Technology Development Projects," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(6), pages 906-925, June.
    18. Bodnaruk, Andriy & Massa, Massimo & Simonov, Andrei, 2013. "Alliances and corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(3), pages 671-693.
    19. Kirsten Burkhardt, 2011. "Le rôle des sociétés de capital-risque dans la formation d’alliances stratégiques:Une synthèse de littérature - The Role of Venture Capitalists in the Formation of Strategic Alliances:An academic lite," Working Papers CREGO 1111102, Université de Bourgogne - CREGO EA7317 Centre de recherches en gestion des organisations.
    20. Beshears, John, 2013. "The performance of corporate alliances: Evidence from oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(2), pages 324-346.

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