GenPharm International

By George Foster, Andrea Higuera
2002 | Case No. IB38
This case provides an overview of the founding and development of the biotechnology firm, GenPharm International, Inc., with a particular focus on its globalization strategy. GenPharm was founded in 1989 and quickly became a pioneer in the field of transgenic animal technology. In 1991, the company’s European operations produced the world’s first transgenic dairy calf, “Herman” the bull, and the company’s U.S. operations demonstrated a key step in the development of the world’s first transgenic mice generating human sequence antibodies (HuMAbs) to various antigens. Between 1991 and 1994, the company pursued cutting edge research in the field of transgenic animal technology, established collaboration agreements with several leading corporations, and raised millions of dollars. In February 1994, GenPharm was preparing to make an initial public offering (IPO) of its shares when a competitor filed a lawsuit alleging that GenPharm had misappropriated its trade secrets. GenPharm’s Board decided not to proceed with the planned IPO, and the company was forced to decrease the size and modify the nature of its business in 1995 and 1996. In March 1997, the legal situation was resolved with a settlement and cross-license agreement. Shortly thereafter, the Board received an offer from a publicly traded biotechnology firm, Medarex, Inc., to acquire GenPharm for up to $65 million. The case ends asking students to develop a recommendation for the GenPharm Board with respect to the acquisition.
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