British Biotech's Falling Star

The company's big investors want CEO McCullagh out

Only a couple of years ago, Keith G. McCullagh looked like Britain's gift to genetic engineering. British Biotech PLC, which McCullagh co-founded in 1986, had enough promise to set investors aglow--and it did. In 1992, it became the first biotechnology concern in Europe to go public. Four years later, the market valued McCullagh's once struggling startup at $2.85 billion, ranking it among Britain's largest companies. Given that British Biotech had yet to produce a drug, such enthusiasm was "nearly a miracle," says Mark Edwards, formerly one of the company's top scientists. "You need a special guy to do that."

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