This morning at the 2006 linkurl:BIO meeting;:// in Chicago, I listened to a panel of high profile executives at a range of companies within the biotech/pharma sector, all of whom seemed to agree that pharmaceutical companies are taking more risks in recent years by investing in earlier-stage products. This is a major shift for the industry, which has traditionally chosen to spend more money on later-stage products with more data to suggest they work, rather than throw the dice and invest in an earlier-stage, less known, entity. As a result of this change, the climate of the deals may also have shifted. In some cases, big pharma companies may compete with each other over an early product, and the small biotechs that develop those products get more of a say about the financial details of the deal, rather than pleading for anyone to buy them, regardless of the particulars. So...

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