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Impact of initial seeds on the growth of biotechnology startups: evidence from the U.S. and Japan

Junichi Nishimura, Yungyun Tsai and Sadao Nagaoka

Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 2019, vol. 28, issue 7, 695-721

Abstract: We assess the impact of initial seeds on the long-run growth of biotechnology startups, including the response of the capital market, in the U.S. and Japan. For this purpose, we collected a comprehensive dataset of the matched sample of listed firms from their foundations to the post-IPO period. We find that the quality of initial seeds predicts significantly both the level and the growth rate of the patent stock as well as those of the asset size of the U.S. startups, even controlling for their alliances and acquisitions, while it predicts only the level of the patent stock for the Japanese startups. Furthermore, the asset growth and the patent stock growth in turn account for the market value performances of the U.S. firms much more significantly than those of the Japanese firms. On the other hand, there are only small differences with respect to the time to IPO and the asset growth through the IPO. These results suggest that higher quality of initial seeds significantly enhanced long-run growth of biotechnology startups in the U.S. but not in Japan, and that the differences in fertility of the initial seeds and in efficiency of the capital market could significantly explain the difference.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/10438599.2018.1557410

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