The right partners require the right strategy

March 23, 2016 Erin Righetti


Finding the right partners from the drug development value chain is an important part of your business strategy and ultimate success. But the process of partnering can be a daunting one, and difficult if one or more parties is under pressure. The March 22 recorded webinar “Maximizing Your Success and Networking Objectives at the BIO-Europe Spring® Conference in Stockholm” is a great resource.


Co-hosted by EBD Group and MacDougall Biomedical Communications, this webinar will give advice from top experts on how to navigate a life science partnering event before, during and after to maximize your networking to get deals done. The webinar was moderated by Doug MacDougall, Managing Partner, MacDougall Biomedical Communications, who was joined by Martina Molsbergen – Founder, C14 Consulting Group and Tomas Landh – VP, Senior Principal Scientist, Innovation Sourcing, Novo Nordisk, both industry veterans and frequent attendees of partnering events.



Here are a few outtakes from this valuable webinar:


  • Pharma tends to bring groups of people, anywhere from two to 20 people, to partnering meetings looking to meet new companies and service providers. They get from 600–900 requests on average during these meetings. It is important to be succinct when making requests.
  • BD execs have a shopping list of what they are looking for, and this is usually available on their website partnering page with lists of people in very specific therapeutic areas that they should contact.
  • Once you get a meeting, set an agenda. You’re not going to get a partnership in the first meeting.
  • Make sure that everything is non-confidential, unless you’ve got a CDA with that organization.
  • A lot of the bigger organizations have booths or suites at these events. Go and seek them out if you did not get a meeting to learn about the people that you should target at future events.
  • The preparation is key—preparation to seek out the right people—otherwise there is a risk that your request to meet is just going to disappear or get lost in the vast number of meeting requests we get. Do your homework, look at our webpages for the names of the right people to connect with.
  • The trick is, how do you get noticed? Even if you’re small, a well-presented message can be received on the other end. Keep your presentations short and to the point.
  • Don’t take offense if pharma says no, it may just mean there is no one at the event to speak to you.
  • It’s not only important to get your sell done in that 30-minute  meeting, it’s important to make the connection.
  • Don’t forget that your peers are there. If you are a biotech company looking for partnerships, you shouldn’t just be looking at pharma. A collaboration may take place between another biotech. A true competitor will keep their peers close.
  • Don’t ignore the fact that you have lots of biotech companies around you that have capabilities that may be an asset to you in the future.
  • Service providers need to take a thoughtful approach in the meetings.
  • If you want to get a meeting with an investor, you’ve really got to do your research and understand the focus area of the VC group or investor group, what co-investors they work with, what portfolio companies they work with and have invested in, and look for competitive companies or synergistic companies.
  • In pharma, we are pretty good at scouting which universities we would like to meet with.
  • In general, there is not a very good network of universities in EU, it’s scattered around. We have a lot to learn about licensing from universities compared to the US. We often see fewer universities in EU than we do in the US.


Want more? Watch the full recorded webinar to make your partnering meetings at BIO-Europe Spring and other life science industry partnering events.


BIO-Europe Spring will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, April 4–6, 2016


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