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A Place for Discovery in Biotech--in Which Discovery Knows Its Place

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

In a product-oriented world, most biotechs learn to de-emphasize discovery, or even abandon it, in favor of in-licensing-as Vitae appeared to do when it in-licensed a series of molecules from Allergan. But Vitae's recent discovery-stage deal with GlaxoSmithkline, and the follow-on financing that followed it, shows that high-value small-molecule discovery deals can happen and provide valuation increases. But it's the very unusual company that can afford to focus its business entirely on them.

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