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Leading a Biotech Through Crisis

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Given the cyclical nature of the biotech industry, companies--both public and private--are forced to weather financing storms every few years. During lean times, one strategy is to cut operations to create the basis for a financing event and stave off the inevitable cash cliff. But a company focusing all its efforts on one, or at most a few, projects has very little to fall back on should its lead opportunity fail. And the equity markets may not come back in time. BioTransplant's CEO-Donald Hawthorne, brought in to save the company, understood from the beginning that companies with just a few months of cash left tend to fail. His challenge: to avoid failure, while at the same time maximizing the chance that in the event of bankruptcy, at least some of the assets of the company could create additional value.
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