Digging deeper into strategic alliances

29 October 2018


When it comes to gathering information, the Internet continues to serve its purpose. You can find whatever you desire and more importantly you can gather it from good sources. On of these sources is labiotech.eu, a leading website covering the European Biotech industry. A personal favourite of mine as they are always up to date, share the hottest developments and provide a platform for background information on almost all biopharmaceutical organisations around the globe.

Recently I came across an article which peaked my interest.

Partnering-up takes place in all industries and the biotech and pharmaceutical arena are not excluded from this. The article addresses the motivators behind as it rightfully states: “Beyond a flow of cash, the right partners can increase the chances of success of a development program and reduce the time it takes.”

The article continues with a list of seven “7 Do’s and Don’ts” and although being helpful and insightful, the first thing that came to mind was: is anything missing?

Time to bring in two alliance professionals and ask their opinions on this list.

Firstly Andrea Burgos Prieto (Associate Director Alliance & Integration Management, AstraZeneca) had to add that a successful partnership has to start from within. Are all internal partners in place i.e. all internal stakeholders, departments, etc. and are they in agreement? In addition: are their skills being fully utilised?

In addition she noted that, seeing as a lot of partnerships are cross-national and thus cross-cultural, cultural and information management are paramount in having a partnership succeed. In other words: have a proper framework in place to navigate through cultural and national differences.

Celine Carlet (Director, Alliance Management & Business Development, Global Operations, Ferring Pharmaceuticals) mentioned that the article, although good in content, focussed too much on asymmetrical alliances. And, she asked: “where is the dedicated alliance manager in this?”. Especially when the ink has dried and organisations are now partners?

To quote her from her article in Pharmaceutical Outsourcing: “While there is an upside of forming alliances that could have a huge impact on the company product pipeline and organisation, the downside is that many of those opportunities are “half baked” and require significant attention post signature. It is therefore up to the Alliance Managers to build and retain effective collaborations and ensure that the maximum value is captured and mutually beneficial”. (From: “Do You Need Alliance Management?”, Pharmaceutical Outsourcing | Insider Insight 2017).

Interesting insights and great additions to a list things to do and things to not do when it comes to forming a partnership.

Please share your thoughts in the comment session on our LinkedIn group.


Blog by Martin van der VeldenConsultant | Clinical Research & Medical Affairs at QTC Recruitment

Image by Shutterstock


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