Valuation of Corporate Innovation and the Pricing of Risk in the Biopharmaceutical Industry: The Case of Gilead

In the last article from the (JACF Spring/Summer issue) Richard Ebil Ottoo discusses how much of a firm’s market value derives from expected future growth value rather than from the value of current operations or assets in place. Pharmaceutical companies are good examples of firms where much market value comes from expectations about drugs still in the development “pipeline.”

Using a new osteoporosis drug being developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc., the author combines discounted cash flow methods values and real option models to value it. Alone, discounted cash flow (DCF) calculations are vulnerable to the assumptions of growth, cost of capital, and cash flows. But by integrating the real options approach with the DCF technique, one can value a new product in the highly regulated, risky and research-intensive Biopharmaceutical industry.

This article shows how to value a Biopharmaceutical product, tracked from discovery to market launch in a step-by-step manner. Improving over early real option models, this framework explicitly captures competition, speed of innovation, risk, financing need, the size of the market potential in valuing corporate innovation using a firm-specific measure of risk and the industry-wide value of growth operating cash flows.

This framework shows how the risk of corporate innovation, which is not fully captured by the standard valuation models, is priced into the value of a firm’s growth opportunity. The DCF approach permits top-down estimation of the size of the industry-wide growth opportunity that competing firms must race to capture, while the contingency-claims technique allows bottom-up incorporation of the firm’s successful R&D investment and the timing of introduction of the new product to market. It also specifically prices the risk of innovation by modeling its two components: the consumer validation of technology and the expert validation of technology. Overall, it estimates the value contribution per share of a new product for the firm.

Authored by Richard Ebil Ottoo, Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)