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Mc Namara, P. and McKnight, P.
Proton Quest: A Biotech Group,
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CIMA Accounting Strategy Performance Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Teaching Case Exam Field Work Interviews
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Management Accounting Exam May 2001 Case study
Proton Quest, a European biotechnology (biotech) group, was founded in 1989 and obtained a listing on a European Stock Exchange in 1994. It was founded by the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Martin Hislop, and his former biochemistry tutor, Professor Sergio Martinez. Proton Quest is unique in that it does not seek independently to discover or develop drugs; rather it manages networks of university and commercial partners to develop the discovery of new compounds. In short, Proton Quest is a typical biotech company in its embryonic stage, experiencing identical challenges to those facing the industry as a whole. Proton Quest has three quite striking features. First is its close links with academia. Second, the group has two main divisions (see Appendix A): Molecular Allies and Techno Insights. The purpose of the Molecular Allies division is to identify innovative discovery projects; it brings together and manages virtual teams of scientists from universities and pharmaceutical companies to co-develop individual projects. As for Techno Insights, it holds a leading position in software development for drug discovery. Third, Proton Quest is unusual in the European biotechnology sector in having achieved a net profit in 1998.
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
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