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Life Science Innovation and the Restructuring of the Pharmaceutical Industry: Merger, Acquisition and Strategic Alliance Behaviour of Large Firms

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This article explores the transformative nature of the life sciences in the context of pharmaceutical mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances. Drawing on interviews with senior scientists and managers from large pharmaceutical firms, and secondary data on general industry trends, it identifies diverse company strategies for capturing and exploiting new technologies/knowledge and explores their implications for innovation. The article suggests that mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances represent a cluster of related activities that provide various strategic options for managing innovation and productivity deficit. However, because the preferred balance between in-house R&D and externally sourced knowledge depends on a number of firm-specific factors, as well as challenges posed by the external operating environment, there is increasing variation between large companies in how these activities are exploited and strategically managed.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: ESRC INNOGEN Centre, University of Edinburgh, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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