Partnering is the deal in Biotechnology
Carlsbad, USA and Munich, Germany – September 21, 2010: 15 years ago when we started our first conference, BIO-Europe, the notion of getting two companies from opposite ends of the biotech-pharma spectrum to co-develop was novel. Such relationships were rare. Pharma still thought they could do it alone.
Much has changed since. Today, collaboration – industry term “partnering” – is the defining strategy for business development. We are familiar enough with the reason why. Drying pharma drug pipelines and looming patent expiry of blockbuster drugs is creating an ulcer-inducing income gap expected to reach $30 billion over the next five years. Plugging that hole with drugs from biotechs promises to be the quickest and surest way of keeping pharma going.
Partnering is about to exert its influence even more. Powerful diagnostic technologies and the move to a personalized medicine system are entering the game. Life science companies will need to be even more structured around the premise of collaboration.
Collaboration is the most direct path to innovation, and ultimately to the patients who need them. Firms are clearly moving headlong with a collaboration mindset.
For example, at our last BIO-Europe event in Vienna, more than 12500 meetings were held between 2,500 industry executives. The result? An analysis of deal databases tells us that of the 158 life science companies that announced new collaborative agreements in 2009, 71% had attended at least one of our partnering events before signing the final contract.
The obvious lesson is that to succeed in our industry, you will need to make collaborating part of your DNA. This means that you will need to come out into the world and meet with people from various sectors of the industry. Better yet, increase your chances of success by attending a partnering event. If nothing else, I can promise you that after your first 10 meetings you will know far more about your own business than you can guess sitting behind your desk.
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