Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book Review: Biopreneurs - The Molecular Millionaires

Book Review

Biopreneurs: The Molecular Millionaires

Ryan Baidya, PhD, MBA & Miyuki Shiratani, MBA California Takshila University Press, Santa Clara, CA, USA

Soft Cover, 280 Pages, 70 color images, tables and illustrations, US $35.50 First Edition, 2008, ISBN-10: 0-9822001-0-2, ISBN-13: 978-0-9822001-1-7

Bhaidya and Shiratani have attempted to interpret the diverse nature biotechnology industry and its relation with entrepreneurship by co-authoring a biotechnology guide mostly intended for venture capitalists, other investors, biotech executives and scientists with the special emphasis on how and why to invest in start-up and early-stage ventures. This book is based on the Bio-MBA lectures, invited seminar series organized by Japan’s External Trade Organization (JETRO) and hands-on experience by the authors in developing biotech businesses from academic to industry. The book is written keeping in mind the novice readers with or without the background in biotechnology or life sciences, thus keeping aside the dry hard facts of life science subjects and financial figures of the stock market.

The book contains 15 chapters divided into three broad areas which cover biotech entrepreneurship development, biotech drug development, and biotech business development (marketing, funding and valuation) along with four supplements of drug development section, attempting to address a quick-fix for the potential investors. The approach taken by the authors is not to describe specific companies (case studies) or specific industry sectors (value chain) but rather to discuss broader areas of entrepreneurship paths in biotechnology.

The book begins by explaining the basics of entrepreneurship in biotechnology by taking the readers through the traits of researchers and biopreneurs, to lessons to learn, and Dos and Don’ts (paths to success) as well. The chapters on biotech drug development provide in-depth analysis of pre-clinical and clinical development citing numerous figures and tables from the authors’ personal research and experience. The business of biotechnology section includes chapters on business plan, role of marketing, funding, fund raising and valuation for bio-ventures. The chapter on beginning a bioventure is a summarized version whereas; a larger section has been devoted to chapters on financing, investment and valuation which are explained in great detail (from idea to IPO and beyond). The role of marketing have been mostly concentrated on the differential strategy rather than on segmentation, targeting and positioning of biotech products.

In summary, this book reveals a lot of imagination that has gone into developing biotech companies, which is regarded as important. For those contemplating to set up a bioventure, there are lots of ideas that would be helpful for the first-time investors of bio-enterprises. Although, the authors have touched some of the important aspects of the science and business development, they did not really explain the implications of it. The book would have been still better, firstly, by including some relevant case studies in bio-entrepreneurship development, thus providing historical adventures by the early entrepreneurs and their bio-ventures. Secondly, the role of intellectual property, technology transfer and regulation of biotech products (drugs and diagnostics) in starting and managing biotech ventures would have been a great starter information for the students as well as potential investors of this industry. The audience for such a book is most definitely investors new to the biotech sector, to understand the underlying drivers and students enrolled for enterprise education, and unfamiliar to this sector.

"If you would like to get a copy, use the code 84710 on the website for your 10% discount. You will be termed an Affiliate and you can enter the code after you enter your credit card information to get your discount."