Improving value assessment of high-risk, high-reward biotechnology research: the role of 'thick tails'
This paper presents work toward improving the efficacy of financial models that describe the unique nature of biotechnology firms. We show that using a ‘thick tailed’ power law distribution to describe the behavior of the value of biotechnology R&D used in a Real Options Pricing model is significantly more accurate than the traditionally used Gaussian approach. A study of 287 North-American biotechnology firms gives insights into common problems faced by investors, managers and other stakeholders when using traditional techniques to calculate the commercial value of R&D. This is important because specific quantitative tools to assess the value of high-risk, high-reward R&D do not currently exist. This often leads to an undervaluation of biotechnology R&D and R&D intensive biotechnology firms. For example, the widely used Net Present Value (NPV) method assumes a fixed risk ignoring management flexibility and the changing environment. However, Real Options Pricing models assume that commercial returns from R&D investments are described by a normal random walk. A normal random walk model eliminates the possibility of drastic changes to the marketplace resulting from the introduction of revolutionary products and/or services. It is possible to better understand and manage biotechnology research projects and portfolios using a model that more accurately considers large non-Gaussian price fluctuations with thick tails, which recognize the unusually large risks and opportunities associated with Biotechnology R&D. Our empirical data show that opportunity overcompensates for the downside risk making biotechnology R&D statistically more valuable than other Gaussian options investments, which may otherwise appear to offer a similar combination of risk and return.
What determines the transition of a society from one level of development to another? One of the most fundamental causes is the global technological transformations. Among all major technological breakthroughs in history the most important are the three production revolutions: 1) the Agrarian Revolution; 2) the Industrial Revolution and 3) the Scientific-Information Revolution which will transform into the Cybernetic one.
The article introduces the Theory of Production Revolutions. This is a new explanatory paradigm which is of value when analyzing causes and trends of global shifts in historical process. The article describes the course of technological transformations in history and demonstrates a possible application of the theory to explain the present and forthcoming technological changes. The authors argue that the third production revolution that started in the 1950s and which they call the Cybernetic one, in the coming decades, that is in the 2030s and 2040s, will get a new impetus and enter its final stage – the epoch of (self)controllable systems. There are given certain forecasts concerning the development in such spheres as medicine, biotechnologies and nanotechnologies in the coming decades (the 2010s – 2060s).
The author considers the conflict between NPV and IRR criteria in investment projects with non-conventional cash flows. This paper presents a new measure - the generalized net present value (GNPV) - to eliminate the disadvantages of the NPV in investment projects with non-conventional cash flows. The GNPV is a monotonically decreasing function of the discount rate with a single root - the GIRR, i.e. the rate of return of investment projects with non-conventional cash flows. The author formulates the GNPV and GIRR rule for investment justification and ranking, offers a criterion to differentiate between investment projects with non-conventional and conventional cash flows.
The paper examines problems of analysis of projects in the sphere of biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals by venture investors. It is underlined that in the case of biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals traditional approach based on discounted cash flows can not meet the requirements because of the unexpected risks and profits. So additional tools are required. For this purpose the paper proposes strategic net present value (rNPV) method and method of real options valuation (ROV).
The article analyzes the technological shifts which took place in the second half of the 20th and early 21st centuries and forecasts the main shifts in the next half a century. On the basis of the analysis of the latest achievements in innovative technological directions and also on the basis of the opportunities provided by the theory of production revolutions the authors present a detailed analysis of the latest production revolution which is denoted as ‘Сybernetic’. The authors give some forecasts about its development in the nearest five decades and up to the end of the 21st century. It is shown that the development of various self-regulating systems will be the main trend of this revolution. The authors argue that at first the transition to the beginning of the final phase of the Cybernetic Revolution will start in the field of medicine (in its some innovative directions). In future we will deal with the start of convergence of innovative technologies which will form the system of MBNRIC-technologies (i.e. the technological paradigm based on medicine, bio- and nanotechnologies, robotics, IT and cognitive technologies). The article gives a detailed analysis of the future breakthroughs in medicine, bio- and nanotechnologies as well as some other technologies in terms of the development of self-regulating systems with their growing ability to select optimum modes of functioning as well as of other characteristics of the Cybernetic Revolution (resources and energy saving, miniaturization, individualization, etc.).
The paper provides a number of proposed draft operational guidelines for technology measurement and includes a number of tentative technology definitions to be used for statistical purposes, principles for identification and classification of potentially growing technology areas, suggestions on the survey strategies and indicators. These are the key components of an internationally harmonized framework for collecting and interpreting technology data that would need to be further developed through a broader consultation process. A summary of definitions of technology already available in OECD manuals and the stocktaking results are provided in the Annex section.
For the development of technological innovations it is essential to ensure competent and modern commercialization within the framework of balanced business models. Multifactor cluster analysis of business models of contemporary high-technology companies and industries shows that the most effective commercialization emanate in the framework of four basic models. Company's profitability does not depend directly on the level of its technologies, but is determined by the quality of these business models. Besides trends in high-technology industries demonstrate raising segmentation and differentiation of markets and more frequent utilization of value network models.
Smoking is a problem, bringing signifi cant social and economic costs to Russiansociety. However, ratifi cation of the World health organization Framework conventionon tobacco control makes it possible to improve Russian legislation accordingto the international standards. So, I describe some measures that should be taken bythe Russian authorities in the nearest future, and I examine their effi ciency. By studyingthe international evidence I analyze the impact of the smoke-free areas, advertisementand sponsorship bans, tax increases, etc. on the prevalence of smoking, cigaretteconsumption and some other indicators. I also investigate the obstacles confrontingthe Russian authorities when they introduce new policy measures and the public attitudetowards these measures. I conclude that there is a number of easy-to-implementanti-smoking activities that need no fi nancial resources but only a political will.
One of the most important indicators of company's success is the increase of its value. The article investigates traditional methods of company's value assessment and the evidence that the application of these methods is incorrect in the new stage of economy. So it is necessary to create a new method of valuation based on the new main sources of company's success that is its intellectual capital.
портовый менеджмент, показатели деятельности, анализ эффективности, система учета, распределение издержек, методы анализа деятельности портовой системы
At present many industries reveal tendency for setting up of vertically integrated companies (VIC) the structure of which unites all technological processes. This tendency proved its efficiency in oil industry where coordination of all successive stages of technological process, namely, oil prospecting and production -oil transportation - oil processing - oil chemistry - oil products and oil chemicals marketing, is necessary. The article considers specific features of introduction of "personnel management" module at enterprises of oil and gas industry.
vertically integrated companies; personnel management