Brilliant biopharma partnerships: 7 Tips

This is the last post in a 3 part series on biotech and pharma partnerships. 

It became apparent after speaking to several biotechs that there is 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’. There are however, patterns that emerge and there are definitely certain tips that life science companies looking to partner could benefit from. Here are 7 of the best tips:

7 great tips to striking a fruitful partnership

‘Preparation, due diligence and relationship: the 3 things biotech CEOs told us made for successful partnerships’  Tweet: 'Preparation, due diligence and relationship: the 3 things #biotech CEOs told us made for successful #partnerships'

1)   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 companies history of relationship management.

2)    Have a clear geo strategy.  Is geo important, or is it only strategic fit that matters? Are geo partnerships where there is investment back into your company important? How will you tackle geo specific challenges? You need to know the answers to all of these.

 3)    Preparation. Preparation. Preparation. When attending partnering meetings, find out which companies are open to meetings and approach them with an invitation tailored for their specific area(s) of interest.

4)    Have a brief and succinct presentation.  Limit it to no more than 10 minutes. You can provide this at the meeting then allow the partnering company 10 minutes to provide information, and then 10 minutes for discussion.

5)    Remain open to unexpected opportunities. Especially at partnering meetings. Although you may not enter into a relationship that is originally proposed, another unrelated opportunity may come up that you will pursue.

6)    Follow up. At partnering conferences, plan subsequent meetings over coffee, etc to iron out ideas. Follow up on all meetings, whether or not a “positive” outcome is achieved.  A simple thank you where you provide contact information should programs/interests/etc. change in the future. You never know where it might lead in the future.

7)    Be patient! You may have to kiss plenty of frogs before you find your prince.

In the first 2 parts of this series I outlined 14 more tips. If you’d like to see the full list of partnering tips download our FREE ebook ’21 Partnering Tips for Biotechs’ 

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