Successful Start-ups and Businesses in Emerging Economies
Edited by Ruta Aidis and Friederike Welter
Chapter 2: Biocad: Innovation in the Russian Biotechnology Industry
Alexander I. Naumov, Irina A. Petrovskaya and Sheila M. Puﬀer INTRODUCTION This chapter describes the creation and growth of Biocad, an innovative biotechnology company in Russia founded and headed by a forwardthinking and risk-taking banker, Dmitrii Morozov. Based on his vision and leadership, the company grew from distributing popular generic drugs for the Russian market to developing new medications that management hoped would compete in global markets. The company is a success story in the ﬁeld of academic and scientiﬁc entrepreneurship, and demonstrates how scientiﬁc research can be moved from the ivory tower and applied to the commercialization of products in the competitive marketplace. Creating and growing the business was achieved despite a myriad of obstacles stemming from the legacy of the Soviet system and the chaotic environment of transition toward a market economy. These included diﬃculties in obtaining funding, implementing market-oriented business systems, hiring managers and motivating scientists to shift from a purely academic mindset to one of creating marketable products that would generate proﬁts. On the positive side, the breakup of the Soviet Union and privatization of the economy provided a valuable opportunity to acquire a leading state-owned biological research institute at a very modest price. Staﬀed by a pool of talented scientists, the institute was an established resource base that had the potential to be transformed into a private company commercializing new drug discoveries. The following analysis of Biocad’s creation and development draws upon interviews conducted by the authors with the...
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