Recent megamergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry have drastically altered the corporate landscape, and perhaps nowhere have the effects been felt more than in drug company research departments.
However big pharmaceutical firms are, they are finding they can't -- or shouldn't -- do everything. And biotechnology firms, which are generally much smaller, are discovering the difficulties of conducting basic and applied research, as well as manufacturing, without help.
This has created fertile ground for joint ventures and partnering, in which the participants have some kind of financial stake -- capital investment, agreements to share profits or expenses, licensing agreements, and the like. But this also has spawned a whole range of research that is completed under a pay-for-services formula.
Contract research is a multifarious web of researchers and organizations. It may be as straightforward as a pharmaceutical...