Luke TImmerman @ Xconomy compares bio-pharma to fantasy baseball in an interesting way. Since baseball DOES explain life (and vice versa), here's a few more bio-baseball analogies:
Bryce Harper = Intrexon. Harper - an outfield prospect for the Washington Nats - is arguably the game's greatest prospect, though it has cost a huge amount of money to sign and develop Harper to this point. Likewise, Intrexon, with great prospects in synthetic biology, has required a huge amount of capital investment to date. Both Harper and Intrexon are anticipated to be very productive, but neither is assured of being a net positive.
C.C. Sabathia = Genentech. Sabathia in Cleveland and Genentech on their own had prodigous success, but both have joined much larger 'empires' in the last few years in the form of the NY Yankees and Roche, respectively. Both Sabathia and Genentech have carried on their success in their new uniforms.
Jamie Moyer = GPCR research. Ancient by current standards, both Moyer (49 years old, and new starting pitcher for the Colorado Rockies) and GPCR research keep delivering.
A-Rod = Pfizer. Both are cash-rich giants of their respective industries, and based in NYC, but both have delivered only marginal results over the last few years, perhaps getting by on reputation.
David Freese = Biogen. Both are known for two big hits in particular (Freese in the 2011 World Series, Biogen with Tysrabi and Rituxan). Both really need to deliver in 2012 in order to stay in the big leagues.
Andrew Friedman = _________ (position open.) Friedman, the creative and successful General Manager of the resource-poor Tampa Bay Rays has through innovation and smart deals made Tampa competitive with teams with payrolls twice their size. Bio-pharma badly needs a few Andrew Friedmans to adopt innovative business models and generate R&D success far beyond what a meager budget might suggest.
Average college baseball player = average RX or DX IP from an academic center. Both are really, really, really far from major league success. The only difference is that the college ballplayer knows it.