Organizational Scope and Investment: Evidence from the Drug Development Strategies and Performance of Biopharmaceutical Firms

47 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2004

See all articles by Ilan Guedj

Ilan Guedj

Bates White, LLC

David S. Scharfstein

Harvard Business School - Finance Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2004

Abstract

This paper compares the clinical trial strategies and performance of large, established ("mature") biopharmaceutical firms to those of smaller ("early stage") firms that have not yet successfully developed a drug. We study a sample of 235 cancer drug candidates that entered clinical trials during the period 1990-2002 and were sponsored by public firms. Early stage firms are more likely than mature firms to advance drug candidates from Phase I to Phase II clinical trials. However, early stage firms have much less promising clinical results in their Phase II trials and their Phase II drug candidates are also less likely to advance to Phase III and to receive Food and Drug Administration approval. This pattern is more pronounced for early stage firms with large cash reserves. The evidence points to an agency problem between shareholders and managers of single-product early stage firms who are reluctant to abandon development of their only viable drug candidates. By contrast, the managers of mature firms with multiple products in development are more willing to drop unpromising drug candidates. The findings appear to be consistent with the benefits of internal capital markets identified by Stein (1997).

Keywords: Internal capital markets, resource allocation, drug development, financial resources

JEL Classification: G30, G31, G32, L1, L22, L23, L65, M13, 032

Suggested Citation

Guedj, Ilan and Scharfstein, David S., Organizational Scope and Investment: Evidence from the Drug Development Strategies and Performance of Biopharmaceutical Firms (November 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=621322 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.621322

Ilan Guedj

Bates White, LLC ( email )

2001 K St., NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20006
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.bateswhite.com/professionals-Ilan-Guedj.html

David S. Scharfstein (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School - Finance Unit ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-496-5067 (Phone)
617-496-8443 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.people.hbs.edu/dscharfstein/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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