Smarter consumership and rigid demands from investors leave little room for fuzzy thinking in entrepreneurial plans

Despite recent setbacks in drug approvals, the mounting campaign for cost-cutting in the health care industry, and ongoing tribulations in the United States and global financial markets, the domestic biotechnology startup world is apparently holding its own.

As the industry at large matures, analysts say, new entrants are learning from the highly publicized mistakes of their predecessors, with an outlook on the future that requires their being more versatile, yet more goal-oriented, than were startups in the past.

This means that a company can't afford to focus on one project, they say, but must support several research projects, which ideally will follow a trajectory toward development of a product or device that a scientist or clinician can use--and pay for.

These and other qualities are not only desirable, but also necessary now, analysts and...

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