Partnerships are the lifeblood of the biopharma industry. Understanding what makes them work can mean the difference between disaster and blockbuster success for biotech and pharma alike. So, I’ve been asking biotech’s and pharma execs what they feel are the ingredients to making it work.
Understanding the root to partnership success
It became apparent after speaking to several biotech’s that there was no one ‘secret to success’ when it came to striking a successful partnership. Everyone has their own formula. Some focused on purely the numbers. Others emphasised the human and ‘softer skills’.
Nevertheless, there were a lot of recurring themes that came up in the conversations, and it’s these recurring themes I’ve tried to capture here.
So, what are the 7 tips to striking a fruitful partnership?
Here they are:
- Weed out the wheat from the chaff. Be extremely discerning with who you take partnering meetings with. You’ll know within the first two minutes of speaking to someone if they are timewasters.
- Keep an open mind and remain flexible. I once asked Tim Mitchell, CEO, Sareum how he would like pharma to approach partnerships and this was his response. The same is true of any Biotech
- Don’t underestimate the value of experience. Pharma companies don’t just bring deep pockets. They bring invaluable knowledge and experience that could mean the difference between the success and failure of your biotech.
- Find the common ground. Focus as much on what you can do for the potential partner as on what they can do for you
- Get your elevator pitch right. If you can’t convey your USP’s and why your product is revolutionary in less than 30 seconds, you will struggle in any partnering negotiation. Click here to see my blog on 5 ways a biotech can get their elevator pitch right.
- Pay as much attention to the relationship and resulting troubleshooting as to the actual scientific development process. It is usually the relationship, not the science that kills a drug’s development. You don’t want to be in a bad relationship. It hurts the product. If the right people are together, you’ll get through the difficult times – of which there are bound to be plenty. Make sure you evaluate the people in the potential partner and the company’s history of relationship management.
- Be patient! You may have to kiss plenty of frogs before you find your prince.
As I mentioned, there were many more than just 7 tips that have come out of our conversations at Biotech and Money.