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Options are out

Biotechs are seeking new incentives to lure and retain researchers.

Peg Brickley(pegbrickley@hotmail.com)

Cash could make a comeback at biotech firms that typically rely heavily on stock options to keep scientists toiling at the bench, according to a new survey by Buck Consultants. The New York based human resources advisory firm said that the prospect of being forced to change accounting practices and book stock options as expenses has biotech managers thinking of new ways to motivate employees.

When it comes to scientists, greed and the hope of a big payoff in the future were never the best triggers to hit anyway, said Linda Amuso, a Buck principal who works with life sciences firms.

"Scientists stay focused at the bench based on the value of the work itself, on having access to the best technology and the best team, and being hooked into the thought leaders of their company," Amuso said.

So, if higher cash bonuses, more clearly defined career paths, or some...

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