International strategic alliances have often been presented as the main growth factor for dedicated biotechnology firms (DBFs). Alliances bring resources such as complementary knowledge and financial resources to DBFs. They help these smaller firms conduct R&D, and costly and long clinical essays and regulations. They build bridges with foreign capital and product markets. Even if some authors have noticed that alliances are not always beneficial or feasible, the main picture has not been altered: they are still presented as a bounty for smaller R&D biotechnology firms. Our research, based on in-depth interviews of samples of DBFs in Montreal and Boston, suggests that, in both clusters, they use alliances as a second-best option. The preferred strategy is to conduct in-house R&D supported by venture capital and capital market funds, and only sign alliances at the latest possible time, in order to complete the R&D process.