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Alacrita Asks "Are We All Biotech Now?"

LONDON, June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --


Alacrita, which is changing the face of life science consulting, has published an insight into the future development of the global pharmaceutical industry. In the whitepaper, Alacrita sets out a vision of how the industry may look as it evolves in response to the challenges it faces and reflects on the decisions it has made. In particular, Alacrita considers whether the industry will reverse the unparalleled consolidation seen in the past 25 years to produce a diversity of strategically independent participants that operate along an extended pharma value chain. Such a split into distinct innovators, service providers and marketers would represent a wholesale adoption of the biotech model.

The article, written by Alacrita partners Anthony Walker and Rob Johnson, was published in the June issue of Business Development and Licensing Journal (Ref. 1) and is available at

"The pharma industry has undergone significant change over the last decade as it has tried to maintain double digit growth and profitability in the face of decreasing R&D productivity, looming patent cliffs and increased focus on containing healthcare costs," said Dr Walker. "Aggressive M&A strategies haven't solved the problem, and we are seeing heightened activity in franchise management where portfolios are being vigorously reshaped through a combination of acquisition, licensing and partnering on the one hand, and project terminations and divestments on the other."  

"Pharma companies are increasingly becoming more focused and streamlined, with a greater emphasis on building core strengths and shedding non-core assets. Funds are being shifted to activities or functions that add the greatest value and if 'greatest value' requires a function to be carried out by an external party, then so be it," added Mr Johnson. "If the major pharma players are no longer one-stop shops and are streamlining themselves to focus on core capabilities, then where is this heading?"

As a result of its analysis, Alacrita proposes that the industry could transform itself into a series of smaller, focused and more dynamic enterprises, i.e.

  • Research and early development companies ('EarlyCos')
  • Late stage development, marketing and sales companies ('LateCos')
  • Functional service providers ('FSPs'), which undertake preclinical development, pharmaceutics, process development/manufacturing, etc.

Dr Walker added, "A greater drive towards outsourcing and more extensive deal-making will see the pharma industry further embracing the biotech model and leading to a highly competitive industry where only the strongest and fittest survive."


  1. A. Walker & R. Johnson, An alternative future for the pharmaceutical industry. Business Development and Licensing Journal (2011) Issue 15, 6-8.

About Alacrita Consulting

Alacrita is rapidly growing consultancy that provides tailored, value added solutions to clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and life science sectors.

Alacrita applies its real-world expertise and experience to rapidly assess and understand the challenges faced by its clients and to develop solutions that exactly meet their needs. This blueprint is then used to access the Alacrita consultants best suited to deliver projects on time and on budget.

Alacrita provides its clients with access to consultants who combine extensive international industry experience (strategic, technical and commercial), broad functional capabilities and a track record of success across the life science sector.

In addition, Alacrita's network of more than 50 consultants with "hands on" management experience allows it to solve client resourcing needs at critical times in their corporate development.

Since inception, Alacrita and its network have completed successful consulting projects for big pharma, biotech companies, life science investors, government bodies and charities.

For further information, please contact:

Anthony Walker or Rob Johnson, or , +44(0)207-691-4915

SOURCE Alacrita
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