This paper analyses the inter-firm R&D network formed in the pharmaceutical biotechnology industry during the 1990s from different perspectives: theoretical network formation, firm's structural positions and its collaborations at the entire network level, and the determinants for firm's centrality-based partnering capability. The results indicate that pharmaceutical biotechnology industry has experienced a significant evolutional change in size and structure during 1991-1998. By considering individual structural positions, the descriptive statistics show that in the 1990s, established pharmaceutical companies developed into dominant star players with multiple partnerships while holding central roles in the R&D network. In the network analysis that emphasized aggregate network level, the degree-based and betweenness-based network centralization were not high implying that the distribution of overall positional advantages in the pharmaceutical biotechnology industry is, to a large degree, not unequal and even though most firms in this sector are linked to the R&D network, some of them are more active than others. The current analysis also shows that firm's efficiency, firm's dependency on its complementary resources and firm's experiences at managing partnerships are important determinants for firm's centrality-based partnering capability, which has important managerial implications for understanding firm's strategic partnering behaviour.