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Balancing Mega-sized Collaborations Requires a Three-Legged Stool: The Broad Institute’s Take on Managing Big Partnerships

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Thursday, September 17, 2015

Partnerships come in all sizes. The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, however, significantly tips the beam with its industrial-scale platforms and collaborations that seek to pioneer a new model of biomedical science.

“The Boston-Cambridge nexus makes it possible,” explained Stephanie Loranger, PhD, director of project planning and execution at the Broad Institute, during her talk “Managing the Three-Legged Stool: Science, Compliance and Alliance” on Friday, Sept. 11 at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference. “The fundamental goal of the Institute is to take on high-impact, multidimensional projects that are too difficult to take on by a smaller lab. Sometimes the projects are contained in one program, but they usually stay in multiple platforms and programs.”

The mega-projects range from government collaborations (including entities such as the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and National Science Foundation) to philanthropic organizations (such as the Carlso Slim Center for Health Research, Klarman Cell Observatory, and Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research) to corporate projects with companies like Norvatis Pharmaceuticals, Roche Diagnostics, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Calico, and Googlea new collaboration.

 

The Broad Institute also has operating agreements with neighboring organizations such as Harvard University, Mass General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Its board of scientific counselors includes three Nobel laureates and its programs contain hundreds of researchers. Platforms range from genomics known for world-class sequencing to proteomics to genetics perturbations, where they run massive crisper screens.

 

“What is unique about these projects is that they are run by scientists who have their own grants and are pushing the boundaries of these platforms,” she explained. “They augment the creativity of scientistswhat they can’t do in their own labs can be done there.”

 

The Institute has a three-legged stool of essential components for execution of large, multi-programmatic collaborations within the ecosystem, she said. It requires balancing

  • Science management and execution of world-class platforms
  • Compliance managementmeeting budgetary, IP, reporting, and legal obligations
  • Alliance management of very large institutional partners that need major coordination

This last leg of alliance management is new to the Broad Institute“a different beast that we have not dealt with before,” she pointed out. “We don’t have an alliance management team. We have people who play roles of alliance manager. It really depends on the collaboration and who is our partner.”

 

Practically, what does this mean in relation to the Broad Institute? she asked.

  • Access to large, multifaceted datasets that one organization/collaboration cannot fund alone
  • Access to unparalleled cross-functional and cross-institutional research
  • Rapid acceleration and translation of emerging knowledge and novel discoveriestherapeutics is the big in plan for next 10 years

Tags:  Alliance management  Broad Institute  collaborations  Compliance management  cross-functional  cross-institutional research  genetics perturbations  genomics  Partnerships  platforms  proteomics  Science management  Stephanie Loranger  therapeutics 

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Overcoming the Curve of Conviction: How to Increase Value by Getting from Negotiation to Collaboration

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Friday, September 11, 2015

“To Collaborate or Not To Collaborate?” That is the question Mike Berglund, CA-AM, alliance director at Eli Lilly and Company, asked the audience at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference held Sept. 9-11 at the Revere Hotel off the Boston Common.  “Are We Negotiating or Collaborating? Increasing Alliance Value through Collaborative Decision Making” was the topic on stage as Berglund prompted the audience to consider three case scenarios that presented alliance management challenges when working with partners.

 

Decision-making roles are complex, especially in alliances, and become even more complicated when the decision is intricate or embedded, Burglund emphasized. “You as individual have certain attitudes, beliefs, and values that effect how you make decisions. It is a lot easier for me to ask if you will go out and buy a loaf of bread vs. change a specific brand of car or attend a different college. You willingness to change the buying pattern will be different.”

 

How to get to collaboration in a world of culturally entrenched views, tastes, and opinions is one of the challenges alliance managers face in the decision-making process, he indicated. Its about the Conviction Curvea framework of personal buying perspective: “In the alliance world, where you are in this curve will dictate how likely you are to change. If you are going into a governance meeting, the further to the right [on the Conviction Curve] you are, the more difficult it will be to change that position and the more resources and energy it will take.”

 

It’s like a sculptor molding a lump of clay, he added. At first, he or she has the ability to mold it into whatever structure desired, but over time, the clay hardens and becomes more difficult to change. “Working across two companies, with their positions embedded in their respective organizationsit’s hard to change. And you will see that exemplified in alliance management,” he warned.

 

A critical point for alliance managers to consider is the importance of understanding your potential partner and responding appropriately to their behaviors to get to that point of collaboration. Negotiation is all about winning, while collaboration is preferable because its jointly created value that can determine the tone of the relationship, he reminded the audience. Build the alliance from within the alliance and push it outward, he advised. “When you deploy this kind of culture and process, its being organically driven within our organizations.”

 

After challenging participants to consider three very different case scenarios, he asked in one case: “What were the factors that led this alliance to result in a joint decision?” He then drove home the value of using “company pre-meetings to understand your own convictions and then using that information to design the meeting. Choose the right people for the job, make sure that whatever is going into governance meetings has been jointly agreed upon by the parties, and eliminate the opportunity for walk-ins. You really want to limit that discussion, and push it out of governance meeting,” he advised. “Even more important, sit down and talk about company differences. You don’t have to agree, but you need to agree on how you present your different sides,” he added.

 

Then evangelize these norms with the working teams. If you have this kind of behavior in teams, collaboration will be the norm, he concluded.

 

Learn more on this topic in the recently published Q3 2015 Strategic Alliance Magazine editorial supplement article “Choose Wisely: Increase Alliance Value through Collaborative Decision-Making,” sponsored by Eli Lilly and Co. and co-authored by Berglund and Lilly’s Chief Alliance Officer David Thompson, CA-AM.

Tags:  alliance management  alliance manager  alliances  collaboration  conviction curve  Eli Lilly and Company  governance  Mike Berglund  negotiation  partners  pre-meetings 

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The Benefits of Having the Alliance Manager, Attorney, and Business Developer Coordinated at the Negotiation Table—and Beyond: A Panel Discussion with Bayer HealthCare

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Friday, September 11, 2015

You’ve assembled a great team and negotiated what seems to be a good deal with a partner. But if you are Bayer HealthCare, before you seal it with your legal teams, what do you need to consider before launching into what might be a 10- or 15-year arrangement?

 

“We’re talking about a process that needs alliance management, legal writing, and business development,” said moderator Ben Gomes-Casseres, CSAP and author, consultant, and professor at Brandeis University. “A mix of disciplines is probably what our message is here today. Claudia’s job is to get the deal, Karen’s is to live the deal, and John’s is to paper it over and make it legal. Three functions that are very important to coordinate,” he added, referring to the three panel members at the  2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference practical how-to session “Making the Link between Alliance Deal and Alliance Life”—Claudia Karnbach, vice president and head of business development and licensing, specialty medicine, Karen Denton, CA-AM, director of alliance management, and John A. Calvo, senior counsel.

 

In the traditional business model of biopharma alliances, a lot of handover and passing of the baton took place after the deal was inked. But companies like Bayer are evolving toward a more integrated approach, Gomes-Casseres said.  “If we can have the same people around the table negotiating and launching the deal, and get the same team doing due diligence and managing the alliance, it all helps with stronger alliance and consistency.” 

 

“You need to look at the deal through the lens of the contract,” added Calvo from the legal perspective. “Do we have mechanisms in the contract, how are we going to deal with lifecycle development? Those are the kinds of things you need to think about early on, because at negotiation, it’s really too late. … Just as we build in a mechanism for joint value, you need to look for disconnects such as if the parties are sharing expenses 50/50, but one party holds the decision-making.”

 

“Building on what John just said, we now have model where the alliance manager is pulled into the deal early,” said Karnbach. “We saw how this would benefit us in renegotiations. We are striving to have very few renegotiations. If you do direct development, at times things are changing quite fast and what you put in the contract is outlived tomorrow. What we have to do is build with transparency, common interest, and common value with the partner.”

 

“I am the main beneficiary here,” observed Denton from her alliance exec’s perspective. “I get a deal that is much more future-proof and manageable. The alliance is much easier to put into place.”

 

“I am the second beneficiary because I don’t have to jump into renegotiation,” added Karnbach. “I can only try to encourage all of you to incorporate this model because it will improve the [long-term] deal you do with other partners.”

 

“There has been a lot of change in mentality among alliance managers and attorneys,” said Denton. “When I first came into alliance management, we sat in different camps. If problems came up in alliance management, alliance managers would see it one way and legal would see it another way. John and I now meet every week—we are in the same tent and work together, to each other’s strength.”

 

Calvo concurs.  “We now discuss alliance issues when they are minor issues, before they blow up.” And one of the key benefits is the continuity: “In the past, everything was so siloed.”

 

But can bringing in the alliance manager at an early stage be disruptive? asked Gomes-Casseres.

 

“You need the consistency of people bringing stability and knowledge, not migration,” answered Karnbach. “Loss of knowledge can be avoided by having a person at the table and living the alliance later on.”

 

Denton recounted a positive partnering experience she had involving a very fast launch with a full team around the table in less than two weeks.

 

“That ability to hit the ground running can be valuable to both the company doing the deal and the partner company as well,” she said. “Listening to the parties’ needs and interests is necessary to structure the deal, but even more important when you start to live the deal. So when you are living the deal, you have to have an eye on the partners’ interests.”

Tags:  2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference  Alliance Deal  Alliance Life  Alliance Manager  Bayer HealthCare  Ben Gomes-Casseres  Brandeis University  Claudia Karnbach  John A. Calvo  Karen Denton  renegotiation 

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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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