Large pharmaceutical companies have grown increasingly interested in rare diseases, but acquisitions of rare disease companies by large biopharmaceutical companies may lead to a cultural mismatch that hinders the development and performance of their products. We spoke to Alain Gilbert, co-chairman of the global strategic consulting firm Bionest Parnters and co-author of a February 2016 analysis in In Vivo “Orphans Should Live Alone.” Gilbert discussed how small, rare disease-focused companies operate differently than large pharmaceutical companies, the essential role their relationship with patients play, and why big companies that acquire rare disease drug developers would be best to leave them alone.

RARECast is a weekly series by Daniel S. Levine. Levine is an award-winning business journalist who has reported on the life sciences, economic development, and business policy issues throughout his 25-year career. He founded Levine Media Group in 2013, which produces The Bio Report and RARECast podcasts. Read his full bio here. 

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