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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).

Suggested Citation

  • Ilan Guedj & David Scharfstein, 2004. "Organizational Scope and Investment: Evidence from the Drug Development Strategies and Performance of Biopharmaceutical Firms," NBER Working Papers 10933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10933
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stein, Jeremy C, 1997. " Internal Capital Markets and the Competition for Corporate Resources," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 111-133, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Seru, Amit, 2014. "Firm boundaries matter: Evidence from conglomerates and R&D activity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 381-405.
    2. 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.
    3. Ashish Arora & Andrea Fosfuri & Thomas Roende, 2018. "Waiting for the Payday? The Market for Startups and the Timing of Entrepreneurial Exit," NBER Working Papers 24350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Marie-Laure Allain & Emeric Henry & Margaret K. Kyle, 2011. "Inefficiencies in technology transfer: theory and empirics," Sciences Po publications 8206, Sciences Po.
    5. Hans K. Hvide & Eirik Gaard Kristiansen, 2012. "Management of Knowledge Workers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(4), pages 815-838.
    6. Sharon Belenzon & Tomer Berkovitz, 2010. "Innovation in Business Groups," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(3), pages 519-535, March.
    7. HansK. Hvide, 2009. "The Quality of Entrepreneurs," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1010-1035, July.
    8. 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.
    9. Sharon Belenzon & Tomer Berkovitz & Patrick Bolton, 2009. "Intracompany Governance and Innovation," NBER Working Papers 15304, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Belenzon, Sharon & Berkovitz, Tomer, 2007. "Innovation in business groups," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19661, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Duncan Simester & Juanjuan Zhang, 2010. "Why Are Bad Products So Hard to Kill?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(7), pages 1161-1179, July.
    12. Bruce Rasmussen, 2010. "Innovation and Commercialisation in the Biopharmaceutical Industry," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13680.
    13. Marie-Laure Allain & Emeric Henry & Margaret Kyle, 2016. "Competition and the Efficiency of Markets for Technology," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(4), pages 1000-1019, April.
    14. repec:aea:aejmic:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:148-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompqllr09iatrn4log is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Malcolm Baker & Richard S. Ruback & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2004. "Behavioral Corporate Finance: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10863, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Yaroslav Kryukov, "undated". "Dynamic R&D and the Effectiveness of Policy Intervention in the Pharmaceutical Industry," GSIA Working Papers 2015-E33, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. Kim, Tae-Nyun & Palia, Darius, 2014. "Private equity alliances in mergers," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 10-20.
    21. Hoang, Daniel & Gatzer, Sebastian & Ruckes, Martin E., 2018. "The economics of capital allocation in firms: Evidence from internal capital markets," Working Paper Series in Economics 115, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
    22. Gatzer, Sebastian & Hoang, Daniel & Ruckes, Martin, 2014. "Internal capital markets and diversified firms: Theory and practice," Working Paper Series in Economics 64, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
    23. Gatzer, Sebastian & Hoang, Daniel & Ruckes, Martin, 2015. "Internal Capital Markets and Diversified Firms: Theory and Practice," EconStor Preprints 169432, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    24. 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.
    25. Catherine Bobtcheff & Raphaël Levy, 2017. "More Haste, Less Speed? Signaling through Investment Timing," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 148-186, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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