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This is The Motley Fool and open to all for any discussion. It's in no way up to me to make the decision as to whether or not one 'attempts' to apply a high technology study of technology adoption life cycles to biotechnology. It's also not up to me, no matter how hard I would try to encourage it, that this board not attempt to cover the biotechnology arena using some sort of a mixed gorilla game approach of finding proprietary and enabling technology with architecture control, de facto standards, value chains, etc... .

The Silicon Investor Gorilla & King thread has a thread master (Uncle Frank) who started the thread and maintains it so it stays on topic. I'm not saying the group doesn't stray from time to time at SI, but it always gets reigned back in to focus on high technology investing because that - in itself - is a broad area to cover, understand and address. There are several thread members from that group that also appear here on this message board so they know what I am mentioning.

The book that we have all read was designed for specific use of the high technology arena and how the industry works. Historically, the information they studied covers pretty much the 20th century. We don't have that thread master, focused control here, so it's easy to see how things can stray from the nest. I certainly don't want to poo-poo anyone's effort or develop a 'thread police' mentality. Although, that certainly appears what I have done. Allow me to apologize for that. I don't want to be the one to stifle creative thinking.

Some problems I see in an attempt to work on fitting the square pegs in round holes by moving the gg criteria to biotechnology is that a lot of time would be focused on developing and improving the model without enough historical data in a young industry at this point to achieve any kind of concrete success. While that is going on and taking time, effort and focus, some of the greatest high technology adoption life cycles are in front of our eyes and we know that the book's proven methods and focus address this.

Since there are so many excellent discussions of biotechnology taking place here at the Fool, it appears to me that those who visit this board would benefit most from a focused application of what the book was intended to cover - high technology. Michael Murphy has an excellent newsletter which covers biotechnology and high technology, yet he keeps the two separate in terms of his analytical approach and how he covers the industry. There are many industries that we could claim or attempt to apply the gorilla game criteria in hopes of discovering a square peg in round hole approach model.

Regardless, I think you catch my opinion and drift. Perhaps a suggestion could be made that the Fool begin a new board where those interested could develop a model that addresses the mass biotechnology arena.


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BB wrote: <<Regardless, I think you catch my opinion and drift. Perhaps a suggestion could be made that the
Fool begin a new board where those interested could develop a model that addresses the mass
biotechnology arena. >>

In thread #1162, started my mishedlo, it was suggested that this discussion move to the Biotechnology Discussion Board. Bruce has twice eloquently described some sound reasons for NOT discussing the Biotechs on this board.

I started a thread on the Biotech board, mistakenly using Gorilla in the subject line, to continue this discussion. Although I know I'm not close to being qualified to "develop a new model," I am very interested in discussing a way to evaluate the unique nature of Biotech companies.

Folks, let's keep the discussion going, just not on this board. Fool on.
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Well said. And I agree.

The reason I posted on this board was to get opinions on the feasibility of applying gg analysis to specific sub-sectors of the biotech industry. Often, on industry specific boards, you get responses like "AMGN is the undisputed 800lb Gorilla" without any discussion of the reasoning behind it. I certainly think the term gorilla is haphazardly thrown about in all sectors, and was looking for a good discussion of the technology adoption life cycle in genomics. There isn't another board where a good discussion would develop (for the most part).

I still believe gg can teach us a thing or two about industries outside of high technology, and that it's OK to bend the rules a bit. The authors themselves did it by including the internet in their revised edition. Genomics in many ways bears much more resemblence to information technology than to what we traditionally picture when we think of biotech. If we can stretch the rules to include to the internet (for which there is not back-testing available, and the life cycle is far from being well understood), it may be fair to at least consider other new sectors that fit some of the criteria.

That said, I'll yield. I certainly have not thought this idea through well enough to make strong, well supported arguements. Trying to decide rules, players, etc. will probably gum up this board unnecissarily (it's become much more active lately). While I consider myself someone who knows a thing or two about biotech investing, I spend a lot of time learning about high technology because there are so many great opportunities. Perhaps I'll start a B2B procurement thread instead...;)

Anyway, sorry for sending the board OT. I'll go bother folks with this whacky theory on the biotechnology board.:) I'm sure people on the CRA board would love the idea of holding a potential gorilla (including me):). Back to my lurking ways...

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Freind SamIam9,

In my non-scientific view, two things could create a gorilla in biotech.

1/ Reslove the protein folding problem. Patent it. With protien folding resolved, the holy grail, one can design compounds that you know would attach themselves to certain molocules on the cell surface to inhibit or ward off bad guys. Or attach themselves to bad guys and destroy them. Very simplistic comment. The guy who figures out protien folding will go down in history.

2/ Figure and patent a system for delivery of genetic modification material to the cell. Now thought to be a virus. Even this might be piece meal and require a "system" for discovery of such compounds because they might require differences depending on the specific gene.

The current hpye on genomics is a long way from being substantial, IMO. What will be more important is delivery systems. Just like B2C and telecommunication infrastructure. Just like the gold miners and the merchants that sold them the equipment.

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We don't have that thread master


Perhaps I need to fly across the pond and join you for a glass of fine wine, in which case I'll explain that the thread, in good judgement, has happily adopted you as the thread master for reasons that are obvious.

--Mike Buckley
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The problem with trying to apply gorilla game principles to biotechnology on the biotechnology board is that many of the participants won't have read the book and won't have any idea what the principles are. I agree with you that it's possible for a gorilla (or at least a godzilla) to develop in biotechnology and would rather see it coming than figure it out in a decade or two. I think it would be a good idea to start yet another message board for this purpose only. What do you think?
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Subject: Re: Gorilla Game and Biotechnology...
Author: BruceBrown Date: 2/27/00 5:11 AM Number: 1178


You should keep a diary of your posts.

A year or 2 from now you could pick some of your best posts, and explain why you were right or wrong. Would make an interesting book!

I'd buy a copy.

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Wow, I am still not sure where to go so I will give this one more stab.

I really do believe that Incyte is a potential Gorilla candidate. They are in competition with CRA and others.
What differentiates INCY from the others (IMO) is that INCY has an accepted product, licensed by 75% of the top pharm companies in the world. Sorry but I have searched for an hour and I can not find the link.

INCY has patent application on thousands of genes and has been awarded approx 700 or so to date (again I am going on recollection). INCY will collect royalties off any drug developed from their gene database. Patent protection, royalties, interem license fees. Sounds like a gorilla candidate to me. On the other hand, as I said earlier, many of these companies are acting like Godzillas (roaring skyward but no proven profits in site).

I believe one or two drugs is all it will take for INCY to start reaping huge profits.

Consider also GERN. GERN has patents on cloning! I have no idea how valuable this is but my guess is immeasurable. Gorilla candidate, you bet. However, it clearly has not crossed the chasm. In addition, GERN is not a one trick pony. They are also doing stem research, and have some patents in potential anti-aging drugs, another holy grail! While we wait for practical applications to cloning, a big hit on anything else will cause this baby to skyrocket. I realize this thought is a big, big, deviation from Gorilla theory, but if their chance of success were only 30%, the potential rewards might just merit a bit of risk capitol. At any rate, it certainly is a stock worth watching.

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