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Sharing Alliance Management Capabilities across Enterprise and Globe: Takeda’s Center of Excellence Case Study

Posted By John W. DeWitt, Friday, September 11, 2015

Organizations today are collaborating at a pace that far outstrips the available resources of most alliance management organizations. While many collaborations don’t call for a full-time alliance professional, stakeholders typically need access some level of alliance management capabilities. At Wednesday’s ASAP Leadership Forum, held on the opening day of the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference in Boston, I chatted with several seasoned biopharma alliance executives about how they increasingly are being pulled into advisory roles for new types of alliances—presenting exciting opportunities, yes, but piling more responsibilities onto an already heavy workload.

 

Developing a “center of excellence,” or COE, for alliance management represents an increasingly common approach for distributing the toolkits and tool-using expertise of alliance management more broadly across the organization for the use of both dedicated and part-time alliance managers. Takeda, Japan’s largest pharma company with ¥1.778 billion  annual revenues, built an ASAP Excellence Award-winning COE guided by alliance management practice but heavily engaging stakeholders outside the function in the COE’s design. On Thursday afternoon, three Takeda executives shared their methodology, challenges, and results in a conference session titled “From the User’s Perspective: An Alliance Management Center of Excellence Success Story.”

 

Two of Takeda’s senior directors of global alliance management, Gray Hulick, CA-AM, and Jenny Rohde, CA-AM, set the stage by describing the COE’s development and the cross-functional team involved. “Our main finding”—and driver of the COE—was that “Takeda didn’t have consistent approach to managing alliances,” explained Rohde. Takeda had a vision of the COE as “a hub for members to access alliance management tools, training, and share best practices, guided by an executive steering committee from across the organization, inclusive of functional area heads, and staffed across the globe.”

 

The COE was carefully designed from the end-user—meaning non-alliance executive—perspective.

 

“We did detailed needs assessments with the idea of really creating tools that our members need,” Hulick explained. “Interestingly, the needs are remarkably similar. People didn’t have access to tools, formal or informal alliance management training, and were unclear about what they were supposed to be doing in their jobs.” So for some end users, the COE’s key job was to make existing assets accessible. “We utilized in many cases tools and training we had access to—we already have toolkits focused on development and commercial partnerships.”

 

However, Takeda at that time lacked a research alliances toolkit—“something much more streamlined for research alliances,” as Hulick put it. This was developed with the deep involvement of Takeda’s third presenter—Kentaro Hashimoto, PhD, associate director of the oncology drug discovery unit in Takeda’s pharmaceutical research division. The need for the toolkit is clear. “More than 50 percent of our pipeline now comes from external partners—so as a research division this shows how important external innovation is to us,” Hashimoto said. More than 200 research alliances translated into an overwhelming task for non-professional managers. “Sometimes scientists serve not just as investigator and project manager, but also as alliance manager,” and across Takeda there was “a diversity of mindsets on how to manage alliances,” he explained. “Our vision is to have access to a worldwide network of scientific excellence” enabled by partnering excellence.

 

The toolkits—developed by the global team of end users and alliance executives that comprise the COE—were originally written in English, but then were translated by Japanese end users as a means of increasing end user ownership and making sure that the content is actionable by these end users. Takeda also has chosen not to mandate their use, but rather to create end-user pull for these resources.

 

Hashimoto shared several key lessons learned.

 

“I have to be honest, in the real world, it’s not so easy,” he said. “It really takes a long time to change mindset, people’s behavior, because they have their own experiences, and alliance managers have their own skills and experience too. So it can be difficult to move to a new way. Finding the right balance is important. You need to use alliance management toolkits and skills in the right time and right way. For example, forcing consensus (to sign the deal) at an early stage among researchers is not always the right way. You need to give them time before pushing for consensus. And governance—you can try to keep it as in the original contract, but sometimes the science brings things you didn’t realize, and you should follow the science, be flexible, even change if needed.”

 

Hashimoto emphasized that his involvement in the COE was a rewarding experience in many ways.

 

“I always enjoy working with COE core members. It was exciting to be part of this initiative.” And, he added, “From the user’s perspective in the research division, I got a chance to understand how our alliance management [capability] applies in a very objective way to our research activities. And we had the chance to develop by ourselves the toolkits and training programs to make our activities better.”

Tags:  2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference  alliance management  ASAP Excellence Award  center of excellence  COE  Gray Hulick  Jenny Rohde  Kentaro Hashimoto  Takeda  training 

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Biopharma Alliance Management in the Ecosystem Era: Three Leaders Offer Quick ‘Doses’ of Advice Followed by Deeper Dive ‘Treatments’ for Staying Abreast of Change in the Field

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Thursday, September 10, 2015

ASAP presented three plenary sessions Thursday morning, Sept. 10, in an engaging new 20-minute topic overview, “ASAP Quick Takes,” designed after the “TED Talks” format as part of the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference. The second half of the morning was devoted to “Deeper Dive” sessions with more in-depth plenary presentations and peer exchanges in roundtable discussions focused on particular topics. The three talks were moderated by Jan Twombly, CSAP and president of The Rhythm of Business, Inc. Organized around the theme of “Alliance Expertise at the Forefront: Leadership for the Ecosystem,” the conference kicked off Wed., Sept. 9 at the Revere Hotel in Boston, Mass., USA.

 

First at the podium was Heather Fraser, global life sciences and healthcare lead at IBM’s Institute for Business Value, who discussed “Redefining Partnering in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Ecosystem.” Recent developments and findings have prompted a major shift from the traditional one-to-one partnering model to partnering within the ecosystem. The disruption has impacted not only the traditional pharma and biotech players in the healthcare and life sciences industries, but also less-traditional, sometimes surprising players, such as judicial (law enforcement and the courts), consumer electronics, and the automotive industry, among others. Technology is a major catalyst. While it has forced greater connectivity and openness, it has also resulted in greater complexity in partnering, Fraser said. The new dynamics beg the question “How do I find and connect with the right partners in new and unfamiliar industries and how do I make the connections?”

 

Next on the floor was Cindy Warren, vice president of alliance management at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, with her talk on “Alliance Leadership for the Healthcare Ecosystem.” Partnering used to be simple, she said as she presented a slide from the old television show “The Dating Game,” where you asked three questions, and the answers resulted in a clear choice, she said.  The old model of “sharing a soda, talking, and shaking hands” to forge the deal no longer holds up in a business environment impacted by technology and greater complexity. We’re in a new era that requires a partnering approach more akin to “speed dating,” Warren explained—and if you don’t move fast enough, you might not secure the partnership. “Our leaders need to become more agile, more flexible. It’s not just about taking that agreement and executing it, but making sure partners are aligned. It’s about working with it, shaping that collaboration, not just about delivering value, but creating value,” she explained.

 

The final plenary session highlighted patient advocacy while exploring the industry-focused partnering activities of the Alzheimer’s Association. It takes a village to support an Alzheimer patient and his or her caregivers, as emphasized in “Supporting Patients and Families at the Center of the Ecosystem,” presented by Lenore Jackson-Pope, BSN, MSM, CCRP, manager of medical and research education for the association’s Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. The number of Alzheimer’s patients has increased astronomically in the past 15 years, and “the country will be bankrupted if we don’t find solution,” she warned. Through its partnering and advocacy, this patient advocacy organization aims to rapidly address the 3 C’s of the disease—care, cure, and cause—during a time when financial support from the National Institutes of Health is marginal compared to its financial support for cancer, HIV, and other serious diseases. Consequently, the Alzheimer’s Association—which Jackson-Pope described as the world’s largest nonprofit funder of research—has created an extensive network of supporters and partnerships to address the problem.

 

Diving Deeper: What Does It Take to Be an ‘Ecosystem Warrior’?

While fundamentals (such as anticipating and managing risk) often remain important, the role of alliance management changes considerably in the ecosystem, IBM’s Fraser emphasized in her “Deeper Dive” follow-on session.

 

“Thinking back to your roles, the ability to partner beyond current borders requires understanding of new and emerging industries, different regulatory environments, speed to market, and the continuum of health, wellness, and care,” she explained. “You also have to have the stamina to stand up, be counted, and explain why different ideas may work for creating value for your organization moving forward.”

 

This type thinking (and stamina) are required of what she called “successful ecosystem warriors.” Key capabilities including “having that ability to act with speed, but at different speeds in different industries and ecosystems, really being the hunter that goes out and looks at those new and different networks, being the person that’s prepared to be disruptive, and understanding what role your organization needs to take in that ecosystem.”

 

Fraser left the audience with several key questions to consider: 

  • What role does your organization plan to play in the ecosystem?
  • Do you have the skills and capabilities to work in that converged ecosystem?Can you address the cultural aspect—“really getting under the skin of the culture of players you’re going to work with”?

Tags:  Alzheimer’s Association  ASAP Quick Takes  Cindy Warren  ecosystem  Heather Fraser  IBM’s Institute for Business Value  Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies  Lenore Jackson-Pope  partnering  patient advocacy  TED Talks 

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2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference Kicks Off with Opening Remarks and Keynote by Berg’s Science and Partnering Leaders

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Thursday, September 10, 2015

The 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference, organized around the theme of “Alliance Expertise at the Forefront: Leadership for the Ecosystem,” kicked off Wed., Sept. 9 at the Revere Hotel in Boston, Mass. USA with opening remarks from Michael Leonetti, CSAP, president and CEO of ASAP, and ASAP Board Chairman Christine Carberry, CSAP, senior vice president, quality, technical operations, program and alliance management at FORUM Pharmaceuticals. Their introductions were followed by a keynote address, “Taking on a Silent Killer through Partnership and Big Data,” presented by science and partnering executives from Berg, the Framingham, Mass.-based biotechnology company noted for its analytics-driven approach and innovative partnering strategy.

 

“Treating partnership management like a science … brings bigger success. It has to do with maturity level—companies that have been doing this for a while are more likely to be successful,” said Leonetti, who also emphasized how much the industry and its partnerships are walking the talk of consumer focus. “There’s a lot of talk about customer-centric. We have become refocused on the patient and on making sure the ultimate objective—satisfaction for the patient—is realized.”

 

Carberry offered several suggestions to attendees on how to maximize their learning at the conference as alliance managers entering this new era of orchestrating the life sciences and healthcare ecosystem. Engage with questions to advance the conversation, write down a particular alliance management challenge and find a tool and put it into practice right away, and look at this conference through the eyes of your CEO by asking “How does alliance management fit into your company strategy?” she advised. “No matter where you sit in the company, this is an opportunity to look at how we look at alliances for success.”

 

The opening keynote focused on the use of research platforms based on big data analytics and artificial intelligence algorithms to isolate the root cause of disease and develop personalized treatment options for patients. A short video from Berg founder and Chief Technical Officer Niven Narain was followed by tag-team presentations by Vipula Tailor, CSAP, vice president of business development and alliance management, and Rangaprasad Sarangarajan, senior vice president, chief scientific officer, and co-founder of biosystems at Berg.

 

“We are putting the patient at the center of everything we do,” explained Tailor. “One relationship Berg is highlighting is Project Survival—finding the underlying biology for pancreatic cancer.”

 

Berg’s novel alliance approach involves accumulating and analyzing as much data as possible, primarily by obtaining tissue samples via multiple research and hospital partners. The Project Survival multiparty collaboration is focused on search, discovery, and validation of the first-ever clinical biomarker to diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer. It includes academia and medical institutions such as Harvard and its affiliated hospitals, non-profits, and even entities such as the U.S. Department of Defense.

 

Berg’s scientific strategy is intricately linked to its partnering strategy. The unusual approach has allowed Berg to obtain literally trillions of data points from each tissue sample analyzed in their research. The company’s researchers then use artificial intelligence combined with fundamental biology to make sense of that data.

 “The more tissue samples we get, the smarter the machine gets,” explained Sarangarajan of the alliance-and-research strategy.

 

The day concluded with a reception to meet and greet partners and colleagues and network among the more than 160 biopharma industry partnering professionals in attendance.

Tags:  2014 ASAP BioPharma Conference  artificial intellegency  Berg  Niven Narain  pancreatic cancer  partnering strategy  Project Survival  Rangaprasad Sarangarajan  Vipula Tailor 

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BioPharma Preview: IBM’s Heather Fraser on Orchestration in the Life Sciences and Healthcare Ecosystem

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Heather Fraser, registered pharmacist and global life sciences & healthcare lead at the Institute for Business Value, an IBM think tank, gives an ASAP Plenary/Quick Takes talk and Deeper Dive session about “Redefining Partnering in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Ecosystem” on Thursday, Sept.10 at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference, “Alliance Expertise at the Forefront: Leadership for the Ecosystem,” at the Revere Hotel Boston Common. Fraser shares insights from her talk in a Q&A for the Q3 2015 issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine. Here’s a snippet from the interview. 

Why is there such a huge interest in ecosystems, especially in the healthcare and life sciences industries? 

There are two significant healthcare drivers—societal and economic. On the societal side, there are demographics, an aging population desiring care and quality for better outcomes, HIPPA and compliance regulations, the FDA continually putting pressure on the industries. Additionally, there is a shortage of the right skills and capabilities for this changing healthcare system. On the economic side, there are technology-driven forces, such as the proliferation of mobile devices and the Internet. Collaboration is becoming much easier because we’re seeing a system that is much more connected and open.  Technology is much faster and more scalable than in the past. We can almost look ahead of technology requirements, and the cost of using that technology to drive out innovative practices is reducing. Analytics are also helping to drive insights and decision-making. So you can look ahead at the requirements companies have and the cost of using that technology to drive out innovation.

 

How do alliance managers know they are on the right path during a time of uncertainty? Are there key areas to focus on when partnering in the ecosystem? 

The traditional guideposts are not always present. But one certainty is that you need to have mutual goals in place that align around the customer and patient. If you are serving the patient, you are on track. Putting the patient at the center is something the life sciences companies haven’t necessarily done in the past. Many now are going toward targeted treatments, such as measuring the patient for glucose levels in their blood. There are diagnostic devices businesses collaborating with diagnostic companies. Another device might measure the impact of insulin when injected into the system. Services such as a nutritionist advising on correct diet or a fitness clinic on exercise could be another component. Companies are looking beyond the pill to produce a total solution for the diabetes patient. Another example: Novartis just put out a heart drug. Typically, drugs for heart diseases are relatively low cost. But now they say the pricing will be based on patient outcomes. Think payment based on outcomes vs. those based on the sale of a pill.

 

What does your “Quick Takes” talk focus on?  

How ecosystems need orchestration, from a mutuality standpoint. Orchestration requires coordination and arrangements, and some companies are leading the way. We’re seeing IBM Watson Health acting as an orchestrator—bringing not just the platforms, the cloud, but also ecosystem members to the table, and the analytics skills as well. Philips is another example—helping with medical devices. They are very much getting in the healthcare space and acting as an orchestrator. Otsuka Pharmaceutical—they’ve got a therapeutic area for patients with mental health problems, and they are using technology, analytics, and alerts to make sure patients stay on their medications. The other component is mutuality—look at how we’re going to coordinate, setting goals we agree on, setting up mutual standards. There is the example of Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim working together on diabetes—bringing the best and brightest scientists from both companies and really trying to accelerate getting the molecules to market. They are still competitors, but they wanted to come up with a set of standards where they had a mutual interest for that particular need and set of drugs. The ecosystem is about the complex web of interdependent enterprises and companies, public or private, with patients at the center. But at the end of the day, the goal is to create and allocate mutual business value for the whole of the ecosystem. You have to understand what you’re putting in and how you’re going to drive that value out.

Tags:  ASAP BioPharma Conference  Boehringer Ingelheim  collaborating  ecosystems  healthcare drivers  Heather Fraser  Institute for Business Value  life sciences  Lilly  mutual business value  Philips 

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In business, as in nature, it’s all about ecosystems

Posted By Riikka Pyykkö | Head of Alliance Coordination, CA-AM, Tieto, Friday, August 7, 2015

Blog entry was written by Riikka Pyykkö and was seen on http://perspectives.tieto.com/ Tieto’s blog page.  

 

Summer is a good time in the Nordics to write and think about ecosystems. We all see and hear the nature's ecosystem full and alive. 

The word ecosystem has entered the everyday business language. We mention business ecosystem when we speak about the future of business and customer interaction. Why is that? Why do we have business ecosystems on our agenda right now? What is the difference between a business ecosystem and a value chain?

 

A fundamental business change 

The maturation of technologies, like social, mobile, analytics, cloud, 3D printing, bio- and nanotechnologies, is rapidly shifting the competitive landscape. No industry will be immune to disruption - the change is led by the consumer centric industries, such as retail and banking, but the trend is quickly flowing into B2B services as well. The changes around us are going to enable much better customer solutions than today. Consumer is in the focus when new solutions are created.

 

Emerging technologies create an environment that is connected and open, simple and intelligent, fast and scalable:

To read complete blog click here.

Tags:  analytics IBM Institute for Business Value  B2B  Business Ecosystem  cloud  Riikka Pyykkö  Tieto 

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