Photo: Courtesy of Dennis McCoy

Most entrepreneur-scientists who set out to start a company believe they can do it all. This hubris can lead to downfall. There is no substitute for the help of experienced business leadership. The managerial insights of the right partner are valuable. The confidence these partners give investors is essential.

For the young, struggling Dyax of Cambridge, Mass., during the mid-1990s Henry Blair provided needed business and strategic leadership. He made Dyax a success after others failed, because he understood the managerial and business nuances of building a biotechnology company, having founded Genzyme, GelTex, and other biotech companies. He knew that a business partner should have successful biotechnology experience and should understand how to build a biotech company.

"A lot of what I know about building a business I learned from my first business partner in Genzyme," says Blair, who worked in academia before launching that...

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