Microsoft word - avance_on_early_stage_myths.doc

“Early stage projects always have a
valuation. Possible reasons for the earlier negative NPV”
statement, that all early-stage projects when discussing with people from pharmaceutical companies: “Early-stage • Over-conservative sales assumptions. never get to a positive value. Decisions are based on other criteria such as Let’s have a closer look at this: biotech positive or a negative value shows up. If you regularly value early-stage projects you should, first of all, apply always the statement. Of course, one could say that only fools invest at that stage and that results to industry values. You will never can easily find some strong evidence for predict the value of your project once it the biotech industry. The pharmaceutical from licensing deals, acquisition prices, industry is interestingly highly profitable. “It is impossible to predict sales so
far in the future. Why should we
20% and 30%. And since each and every commercialised R&D organisation are frustrated because early stage project, even such early-stage projects should have a positive value. Of prioritisation reasons. On the other hand have increased as well. And finally, early- and the actual realised sales. One of the most prominent examples is probably Pfizers Exubera (inhaled insulin), which patients’ interest, although sales have been predicted in the multi-billion dollar Avance, Basel, GmbH, Bäumleingasse 2, CH – 4051 Basel Jack you can actually consistently (i.e. on Table 1: Forecasted and actual sales1.
average) make money. However, it takes quite some skills; you need to count the cards that have been dealt, draw cards and bet accordingly. The system is actually that challenging that only very few persons manage to do it right. Tellingly, mathematicians, some from the MIT (it has also been the topic of the movie “21”). Now, when you play according to to the cards on the table and the previously dealt cards. However, even if Well, it is true that forecasted sales are less. And it is equally true that you can Tracleer. In the late 90ies Roche decided with mathematics (it’s even challenging called Actelion. They developed the drug bn in sales. Clearly, Roche did not expect but on average he is worse off and probably even starts loosing. You can But the unreliability of the forecasts is margin) if you play strictly according to an anology from an equally uncertain world, the casino. When playing Black 1 Source: Arthur G. Cook, „Forecasting in the Avance, Basel, GmbH, Bäumleingasse 2, CH – 4051 Basel gives you wrong advise, just like in Black uncomfortable decisions that lead to the Jack. But on average – and this is the actual meaning of “consistently” – you are not very interesting. We never mention that they were right all along Conclusion
development of Lipitor, Avastin, Diovan, and all the other successful drugs. But it went wrong. Don’t be fooled by this money, that is most often not your own. Valuation might sometimes be wrong, “winning” and “consistently winning”. only, investors are interested in a positive return on their whole portfolio. Finally, if people say that some projects They can afford the one or other failure investment compensates it. It’s like in the casino; you don’t have to win every scenario. If you cannot think of any then only plays one hand – the fate of their motto holds: If you cannot value it, you Knowing that valuation sometimes can give wrong recommendations they rather trust their gut-feeling, to the disadvantage of the whole industry, whose return is hampered that way. For this reason biotech companies have trouble Avance, Basel, GmbH, Bäumleingasse 2, CH – 4051 Basel



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