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Editorial: Evolution of the Life Science Industries

Mittra, J   Williams, R

Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, Special Issue   19 (3) 251-255

May 2007

The life sciences have had a transformative impact on a range of innovation-driven industries. The pharmaceutical sector, in particular, has undergone significant organisational change as promissory life science-based technologies and approaches to R&D have begun to challenge the sustainability of small-molecule, blockbuster drug development and the conventional strategic management processes associated with it. The complexity of the biomedical paradigm, and the significant but diverse implications biotechnology and genomics have for various parts of the research and development pathway, has created what appears to be highly distributed innovation systems and networks1 that involve an increasingly diverse range of firms, public sector organisations and technological regimes. Large, traditional pharmaceutical companies are now increasingly reliant on the knowledge, products and expertise of external innovators, such as small dedicated biotechnology firms, as their traditional capabilities in small-molecule drug development no longer appears sufficient to sustain profitable growth.