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European Biopharmaceutical Review

The Big Buy

The economic crisis sweeping around the world has affected many industries, leaving few unscathed, and biotech companies have been no exception. Current market value does not seem to depend on the real worth of these companies or their technology, with many biotechs losing significant value on the markets seemingly overnight. In contrast, it is the cash-rich big pharma companies who are among the best positioned during these uncertain times, and who could also prove to be the saviours for many biotechs otherwise heading for failure. The concept of risk has changed for big pharma and it is time to nourish empty pipelines and start buying, with the multibillion dollar acquisitions of Wyeth by Pfizer and Schering- Plough by Merck recent examples of big buys. However, what exactly is the risk?


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Before co-founding Bionest in 2003, Alain J Gilbert was European Founding President of Biogen Inc (BGEN), where he was responsible for the launch of Avonex®, a biotech breakthrough treatment for MS. He held several positions at senior management level, such as European founder of IDEXX Labs Inc (IDXX) and President of Medtronic Europe. Alain started his career in sales and marketing at Abbott’s Diagnostic Division and remained there for 17 years, holding key executive positions in the US and Europe. At Bionest, Alain is involved in biopharmaceutical, animal health, product launch, private equity and is focused on the US.

Dr Meredith Edwards joined Bionest in 2007 as a consultant. She obtained her medical degree in Australia. Before joining Bionest, Meredith worked as a Doctor for over two years in Australia and the UK. She was then appointed to Medical Affairs Director in a Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) in Paris. Since joining Bionest, she has participated in major ex-US operational product launch plans, regulatory strategy projects and has authored several articles in industry magazines. Her main focus is on biopharmaceutical companies in the US and European markets.

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