Yes it is. No it isn't. Depends upon whom you ask and when.
In a survey of 18- business development executives considering deals from 2006 through 2010, the responses were remarkably split I thought. The majority of biotech respondents (36%) said they could drive terms with pharma (though you can see 64% thought they were on equal footing or were more takers than givers of terms).
So we turn over to pharma. well, 44% of pharma respondents (again the majority) said their negotiating power had increased with biotechs.
What about upfront payments? Biotechs (55%) said they had dropped - though 31% reported an increase. Flip sides of the coin to pharma, and 51% saw an increase with only 32% seeing a drop. We in the same deals? A more objective third party analysis of the reported deals shows about a 5% decrease in the upfront value for the 2006-2010 time period.
Average deal volumes and payments seemed to be pretty steady over the period. Any loss of leverage pharma experienced due to dwindling pipelines and perhaps some desparation to license short-term revenues seems to have been counterbalanced by a bad funding-environment for the biotechs. Status Quo.
Posted by Bruce Lehr June 16th 2011.