Hungry biotechs make better partners for Big Pharma

All that moaning and groaning you've been hearing about how hard it is to find venture backing for biotechs these days is evidently cause for considerable enthusiasm in pharma circles. The Wall Street Journal's Goran Mijuk says the funding crisis has helped Big Pharma companies like Roche do more deals with smaller upfronts. And that's allowed Roche to bring in hot new drugs like Zelboraf (Plexxikon) and vismodegib, another skin cancer treatment partnered with Curis. "We are doing around 50 to 60 partnership deals a year now, compared to around 30 deals per year before the crisis [of 2008]," Dan Zabrowski, head of Roche's drug partnership unit, tells the Journal. "Today, we start deals earlier with less upfront payments and share the risk with our partners." Report