Since the 1970s, biotechnology has been a key innovator in drug development. An analysis of FDA-approved therapeutics demonstrates pharmaceutical companies outpace biotechs in terms of new approvals but biotechnology companies are now responsible for earlier-stage activities (patents, INDs or clinical development). The number of biotechnology organizations that contributed to an FDA approval began declining in the 2000s and is at a level not seen since the 1980s. Whereas early biotechnology companies had a decade from first approval until acquisition, the average acquisition of a biotechnology company now occurs months before their first FDA approval. The number of hybrid organizations that arise when pharmaceutical companies acquire biotechnology is likewise declining, raising questions about the sustainability of biotechnology.