|How will startups get needed capital if the licenses they grant can be voided during court proceedings?|
WASHINGTON—Steven Mendell says he isn’t worried about the future of his company, Xoma Corp. The seven-year-old Berkeley, California, biotechnology startup firmed up its funding by going public in 1986 and has an agreement with the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. to help it develop a line of monoclonal antibody-based products to treat septic shock infections.
But Mendell, Xoma’s chairman and chief executive officer, is concerned about other scientist-entrepreneurs who don’t have a dependable source of outside capital to keep their fledgling companies alive. That’s why the 48-year-old Mendell flew across the country earlier this summer to tell Congress it should close a loophole that threatens the ability of thousands of new firms to get their new ideas to market.
The problem, Mendell explained to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Monopolies, is a 1985 ruling...