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A Message to Our ASAP Member Community

Posted By Michael Leonetti, CSAP, Saturday, April 4, 2020

The global health crisis involving COVID-19 has forced all of us to change how and where we’re working, how we’re living, where we’re going (or not going), and so much more. Our hearts go out to all those whose health has been affected by this crisis, or who have loved ones they care about who are vulnerable. And we gratefully acknowledge and thank all the brave healthcare workers and others who are on the front lines of this disease, bravely exposing themselves to it as they try to save lives. Many ASAP members, too, are part of organizations that are working to produce vaccines, treatments, and vital medical equipment that can help in the fight against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, we’re very aware that across the globe, the way business is getting done looks very different right now. Like many organizations large and small, the ASAP team is working remotely and adjusting to this new reality. However, we’re still here for you! We’re working hard to put together great content for our member community and to bring it directly to you virtually. Here are just a few of the things we’re working on:

  • We’re continuing to develop quality alliance management virtual learning opportunities to go out to you as part of our series of ASAP Netcast Webinars.
  • We’re bringing you regular updates and digests of partnering news via our Strategic Alliance Weekly and Monthly emails.
  • Our ASAP blog and ASAP newsfeed remain ongoing vehicles to provide you with partnering and alliance news and insights, outtakes from our magazine articles, and more.
  • Speaking of our magazine, Strategic Alliance Quarterly is alive and well! The Q2 issue is in the works and planning has already begun for Q3 and beyond.
  • Although a number of ASAP chapter events have had to be postponed, we’re working with our chapter leaders and members to get them rescheduled—so stay tuned!
  • Planning has already begun for the popular ASAP BioPharma Conference to be held in September—with the call for presentations now open through May 1.
  • Last but not least, we’re working toward providing a high-quality, content-rich ASAP Global Alliance Summit in late June.

Like you, we’re continuing to do our jobs as best we can under these extraordinary circumstances, and we’re working every day to provide content that matters to our wonderful ASAP community. If there is anything we can do to help you and your teams during this time, please do not hesitate to reach out to our ASAP staff.

And above all, thank you! Thank you for being a member of our ASAP community. Our collective strength lies within all those engaged in the alliance and partnering world of which you are a vital part. Together, we’ll get through this!

Tags:  alliance management  ASAP BioPharma Conference  ASAP blog  ASAP Global Alliance Summit  ASAP Netcast Webinars  ASAP newsfeed  COVID-19  member community  Partnering  produce vaccines  Strategic Alliance Quarterly  Strategic Alliance Weekly  treatments  virtual learning  virtually  vital medical equipment 

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When Worlds Converge: Digital Therapeutics Meets Biopharma Alliance Management

Posted By Michael J. Burke, Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Even a year or two ago, the idea of digital therapeutics didn’t stir up a great amount of interest among most participants at ASAP’s BioPharma Conference, according to Mike Leonetti, president and CEO of ASAP. That sort of ambivalence no longer applies, as was evident at the September 23 Leadership Forum that kicked off ASAP’s BioPharma 2019, held Sept. 23–25 in Boston.

            The invitation-only gathering of 20-some biopharma alliance leaders was treated to a glimpse into the future—and a privileged look at a rapidly changing present—by senior executives from two companies that have been fast-tracking prescription digital therapeutics in their own alliance. Alex Waldron, chief strategy officer at Pear Therapeutics, and Joris van Dam, head of digital therapeutics for the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, were introduced by Leonetti and by Brooke Paige, vice president of alliance management at Pear Therapeutics and ASAP’s board chair.

            Waldron and van Dam described digital therapeutics as “software as a therapeutic,” or customer-facing software that helps clinically treat disease. It’s still relatively new, but already has become one of the five modalities of modern medical treatment (small molecule, large molecule, gene, cell, and digital). Whereas traditional biopharma alliances are asset-based partnerships formed on the basis of a molecule, in a partnership around digital therapeutics, the technology product is the asset.

            While we often think of wearable devices when we think about digital therapeutics, perhaps the most common such device is your smartphone. So far Pear and Novartis are experiencing some success around products used to treat depression that occurs with patients who have multiple sclerosis (MS) or schizophrenia, for example.

            Patients’ usage of and familiarity with their own cell phones is a big plus in such treatment, both in terms of access—a phone app is available 24/7, when patients need it, unlike a doctor or psychiatrist—and also adherence to the treatment plan, since the app can remind patients to stick to the program they’re on and help them get going with it again.  Other uses being explored include the treatment of addiction and other types of depression.

            Managing an alliance between a smaller, tech-oriented company and a large pharma company can be challenging, of course—as can any partnership between more traditional biopharma and tech. In this case, Novartis brought its commercial infrastructure, clinical trials expertise, and scientific strengths to the table; Pear brought technology, manufacturing, and ownership of the pharmacovigilance aspect, i.e., safety and data reporting.

            As part of the forum, the 20-plus alliance leaders were asked several questions and polled on their responses. Among the highlights:

  • More than 50 percent said their company had at least one or two digital/nontraditional alliances that were being operated as managed partnerships.
  • More than 50 percent said someone other than alliance management or business development managed these partnerships at their companies.
  • More than 80 percent said they expected their companies to increase the number of these digital/nontraditional partnerships in the next two years.
  • Nearly 70 percent reported the biggest challenges of such partnerships included finding a common language, the lack of alliance management skills, and cultural differences.
  • Fifty percent of respondents felt that these partnerships should be managed by the alliance management group in their organization—but nearly as many acknowledged that they don’t currently have the bandwidth to do so.

            In the roundtable discussion portion of the forum, participants came up with a number of elements or processes in traditional biopharma alliance management that would need to be revised, modified, leveraged, or speeded up to meet the needs of digital and nontraditional partnerships and to take advantage of the potential for innovation. These included:

  • Increasing the frequency of governance meetings and check-ins
  • Speeding up decision-making processes and structures and including more senior people in them
  • Educating senior management and managing stakeholders to ensure senior-level support and alignment
  • Hiring more tech-savvy alliance managers
  • Having more people on board who are well versed in IP issues and the regulatory environment
  • Needing to trust the partner in ways beyond what has been common in the past—including continuous data sharing
  • Hiring more disruptors and fewer people who are invested in protecting “the way we do things here”
  • Establishing clear roles and responsibilities from the outset of the alliance, as early as the kickoff (if not before)
  • Understanding each other better, given the different cultures of tech and biopharma companies

A window into the future indeed, and certainly there will be much more to come on this subject as the numbers of digital and nontraditional partnerships in biopharma continue to increase. And as ASAP BioPharma Conference 2019 continues, stay tuned for more of the latest coverage!

Tags:  Alex Waldron  alliance managers  ASAP BioPharma Conference  clinical trials expertise  commercial infrastructure  digital therapeutics  Joris van Dam  Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research  Pear Therapeutics  scientific strengths  software as a therapeutic 

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Q2 2018 Strategic Alliance Magazine: The Culture of Jazz (Pharmaceuticals); a Massive Dutch Cross-agency Alliance; Award-winners—Past and Present; Three ASAP Fall Events

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2018

When the culture of a company really sings, it’s worth exploring the unifying elements. That’s what John W. DeWitt, ASAP Media and Strategic Alliance Magazine Editor and Publisher, explored in the Q2 2018 issue’s cover story, “Choose Culture First: How to Build a Collaborative Enterprise from the Ground Up—and Treat Every Partner Well.” DeWitt probes the underpinnings of Jazz Pharmaceutical in an interview with Cofounder and CEO Bruce Cozadd, and the company’s head of alliance management, Ann Kilrain. Culture, collaboration, and consistent partnering behaviors are integral to Jazz’s success, which is focused on sleep hematology/oncology solutions. “People judge you all the time, and what’s important is how you behave all the time,” says Kilrain during a captivating discussion that emphasizes how consistency and integrity are interwoven into the company culture. Also in this issue’s Up Front, “The Sound of Success,” President and CEO of ASAP, Michael Leonetti, reiterates that point with The Four Cs of Alliance Leadership: Communication, Culture, Collaboration, Compromise. In collaborative leadership, “leaders model their organization’s values and … can impact the culture of an organization,” he writes.  

A second cover story focuses on managing the collaboration of three big government agencies in The Netherlands. In “How an Alliance Matured from Chaos into Award-winning Order,” Diantha Croese, alliance manager at the Dutch Alliances on Data, and Menno Aardewijn, business consultant at the Dutch National SSA, discuss how they tamed a giant, unwieldy cross-agency collaboration between the Dutch IRA, Social Security Administration, and Statistics Netherlands. The management required incredible perseverance as well as “disruption, adap­tation, and overcoming sizable resistance,” and an intricate framework to establish cooperation and financial order between the agencies. Assigned the task of coordi­nating the collection of data about tax revenues, wages, benefits, and corresponding data for the Dutch gov­ernment, they streamlined financial data for the Dutch society while lowering administra­tive costs for employers and operating costs for the alliance partners.

Two other articles in this issue probe the question of what constitutes ASAP award-winning alliance behaviors. First is an article about the 2018 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards, where seven companies won the four ASAP awards for remarkable accomplishments and exemplary conduct. The second article zeros in on the winner of the 2018 ASAP Alliance for Corporate Responsibility Award, which was presented this year to Cisco and Dimension Data for their celebration of 25 years of partnering with 25 altruistic service projects. The article highlights company employees and their voluntary contributions around the world, which range from education opportunities for girls in Sudan to community bicycles for school children in Thailand.

The Member Spotlight also focuses on the 2018 Individual Alliance Excellence Award winner Julphar in  “Breaking Boundaries in the Pharmaceutical Industry.” Along with pharmaceutical partner MSD, Julphar strategized to make a major difference in seven therapeutic areas for six countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Julphar’s strategic alliance team consists of in­dividuals from diverse backgrounds whose combined skillsets and experience are viewed as critical to helping the company develop and sustain strong strategic alliances in a different area of the world to create the unique DUNES alliance.

Looking back, this issue also provides a roundup of the 2018 ASAP Global Alliance Summit in “The In-Demand, On-Demand World of Alliance Management, as Portrayed by the 2018 Summit Speakers.” The article captures the essential points of the keynote address and four plenary talks. Looking forward, “Circumnavigate the Globe this Fall With ASAP Conference Offerings” provides a synopsis of ASAP offerings this fall with a review of seminal topics for the three events: The BioPharma Conference, Tech Partner Forum, and European Alliance Summit.

For some hard-hitting findings, turn to Eli Lilly and Company’s Editorial Supplement “Common Value Inflection Points in Pharmaceutical Alliances.” Finding and understanding key inflection points can reveal a lot about your alliance and help alliance managers make good decisions, the article purports. It then does a deep dive into the topic with corroborating data and methodologies.

Finally, The Close relates a personal story about a former World War II Marine’s experience working at the Ford Motor Company in the 1950s during a time of great transition and innovation. “A Lesson From the Whiz Kids: Change and Teams‘An Inevitable Combination’” points out how teams have played an integral role in every major change throughout history. Whether political upheaval or disruption in business, it takes a combination of inspired leadership, engaged executives, collaboration, and a culture of teamwork to bring about a seismic shift. 

Tags:  2018 ASAP Alliance Excellence Awards  Ann Kilrain  ASAP BioPharma Conference  ASAP European Alliance Summit  ASAP Tech Partner Forum  Bruce Cozadd  Collaborative Enterprise  Culture First  Eli Lilly and Company  inflection points  Jazz Pharmaceutical  Julphar  MSD  Partnering Well  Strategic Alliance Magazine 

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Fascinating Mix of Case Studies Woven Into ASAP Conference Programming This Fall

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, September 17, 2018

Trio of conferences this September, October, November will include plenty of practical sessions with real-life examples of partnering success stories

The next issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine will include a fascinating case study on the Dutch Alliance for Data and Tax on Wages and Benefits, a complex alliance between the Dutch IRS, National Social Security Administration, and Statistics Netherland. The two alliance managers in the article will also provide details on how they formed, managed, and problem-solved the complex collaboration in a session at the upcoming 2018 ASAP European Alliance Summit: “Owning Your Ecosystem & Building the Future,” in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Nov. 8-9 (location to be announced).  

Case studies are a powerful way to make a point, demonstrate useful tools and techniques, and highlight the best practices used to solve alliance challenges. There’s nothing quite as impressionable as a real-life alliance success story packed with examples of problem solving, effective frameworks, and cutting-edge techniques. In fact, the European Summit will kick off with a “Case Study of a Large-Scale Bi-Lateral Strategic Alliance,” presented by Christophe Pinard, director of global strategic alliance at Schneider Electric and Jean Noel Enckle from emerging solution ecosystem development at Cisco. The two speakers plan to provide their reflections and case perspectives on the dynamic, progressive alliance between the two companies. 

Their talk will set the stage for a summit where as many as 30 case studies will be tucked into sessions spanning a wide range of cross-industry topics, including

The Internet of Things (IoT), telecom, financial services, pharma/life sciences, digital ecosystems, telecom, energy, fintech, consumer goods, and other areas of interest. Presenters will include the heads of alliance divisions, CEOs, and other professionals.

A similar trend is afoot at the upcoming 2018 ASAP BioPharma Conference: “Creating Valuable and Innovative Partnerships by Driving the Alliance Mindset,” at the Hyatt Regency Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, Sept. 24-26.  Case studies are a great tool for teaching, and they will be central to the session “Let’s Make a Deal: Driving Better Contracts to Win in Clinical Genomics,” presented by Katherine Ellison, CA-AM, associate director of alliances at clinical genomics leader Illumina, Inc. Attendees will be asked to consider several of Illumina’s case studies and then delve into key areas where the alliance teams worked collaboratively with business development throughout the deal negotiation process.

Participants are asked to prepare for the session and bring their own case studies to share and discuss with peers on relevant topics, such as:

  • Methods to transform working relationships
  • Shared process models and governance structures to facilitate collaboration
  • Fit-for-purpose tools that drive internal and external information sharing
  • The merits of centralized and decentralized alliance and business development models

If you’re more interested in customer case studies on the tech side, join some of the biggest tech movers and shakers for one day, October 17, at the 2018 ASAP Tech Partner Forum: “Owning Your Ecosystem & Building the Future,” at the Four Points by Sheraton, San Jose Airport, San Jose, California. Keynote speakers Mitch Mayne and Wendi Whitmore of IBM, plans to weave some relevant alliance experience into his talk “Cyber Security Ecosystem Meets the Customer Experience,” and there will be plenty of concrete case study examples from Scott Van Valkenburgh, CSAP, vice president, global alliances leader at Genpact in his talk “Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Partnering Considerations.” Genpact has implements several successful RPA projects with Genpact’s RPA partnering strategy, and Van Valkenburgh plans to share lessons as well as customer case studies as he discusses Genpact’s launch and early RPA strategy.  

Learn more about these and other case studies, review additional sessions and content, and sign up for early bird discounts at the following links:

BioPharma Conference: http://www.asapbiopharma.org/sessions.php

Tech Partner Forum: http://www.asaptechforum.org/index.php

European Alliance Summit: https://www.asapeusummit.org/

Tags:  alliances  ASAP BioPharma Conference  ASAP European Alliance Summit  ASAP Tech Partner Forum  case studies  Christophe Pinard  Cisco  Clinical Genomics  Cyber Security  ecosystem  Genpact  governance  IBM  Illumina  IoT  Jean Noel Enckle  partnering  partnerships  RPA projects  Schnieder Electric  strategy 

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NOT ‘Business as Usual:’ What the BioPharma Channel Can Glean From High Tech

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Monday, October 16, 2017
Updated: Sunday, October 15, 2017

Partnering isn’t “business as usual” anymore. “Even companies that think they have their practices down are all reinventing what they are doing now because they have to deal with … the increasing speed, scale, and scope of partnering that has become exponentially greater,” emphasized Jan Twombly, CSAP, The Rhythm of Business, Inc., during her session “The BioPharma Channel: Leveraging Practices from the High-Tech World to Drive Success.” Twombly was presenting at the 2017 ASAP BioPharma Conference, “Accelerating Life Science Collaborations: Better Partnering, Better Outcomes,” held Sept. 13-15 at the Royal Sonesta Boston, Cambridge, Mass.

“The high tech channel has learned that you are not going to be successful if your channel partners aren’t successful. … You need customized partners to provide local market access. High tech needs new partners because it needs vertical and technical specialization. Some companies do this better than others,” she added. For example, Cisco generates 85 percent of revenues by channel partners. That’s exceptional, considering that the industry average is 39 percent.

The channel is a route to market that is accessed either by communication avenues, a direct sale force, or co-commercializing a product with a partner. It’s about delivering on intended value in a resource-friendly way, she added.  Biopharma usually doesn’t consider the channel as key to growth. Yet market growth trends and future projections from BMI Research indicate that unmet patient needs and the significant growth potential of emerging markets provide significant reason for pursuing a channel strategy, Twombly said, while flashing past market size data and future size projections:

2010: $150 billion
2015: $245 billion
2020: $340 billion
2025: $490 billion

High-tech channel partners are not seeking more automation, Twombly observed.  What they are looking for is:

  • More engagement with field engineers and local sales personnel
  • Greater understanding of corporate priorities
  • Joint planning on strategic opportunities
  • Better understanding of their partners’ strategies and plans
  • More proactive communications, support, and relationship management

So what can the biopharma industry learn from high tech’s successes with channel partnering? Twombly asked.

  1. Take a portfolio approach: Place bets carefully, and manage it as a portfolio from low-touch to high-touch.
  2. Carefully manage the transitions, and ensure partner (and stakeholder) readiness.
  3. Maintain robust measurements, reporting, and action from a 360-degree perspective. We are becoming very data driven.
  4. Make it part of the fabric of the organization from end to end: Bake it in, don’t bolt it on. You need to have a strategy, and the partnering needs to be integrated into various functions of your company.

That’s critical to the entire process, she emphasized:  “Baking it in. … We like using a stakeholder management model. In many instances, you will not have dedicated people. You need to understand the economics; have good reporting and data collection that are able to be monitored; focus on closing the gap between current practice and what stakeholders need to profitably support the channel partners. That is how you will demonstrate value,” she advised.

“Governance is sometimes not in place,” she added. “You want simpler governance because of the nature of the relationships, but still need to have executive and operations levels to formal governance. Make sure you have the right participants engaged, set expectations, and have proper alignment and meetings. Make them good, formal meetings, but create an environment people will want to attend. The quarterly business reviews in high tech are typically all one way. If you really want to build that relationship so the partner can help you with market access and driving the business, you need to make it a two-way meeting.”

Consider conducting partner summits, she concluded. In the high tech world, they are a staple for building relationships by helping partners learn what’s new and where company strategies are headed. Summits provide an opportunity to have all your partners together to learn about common challenges.

ASAP Members can learn more about this provocative and well-attended ASAP BioPharma Conference session in the September 2017 issue of eSAM Plus.

Tags:  alignment  ASAP BioPharma Conference  BMI Research  channel partners  channels  governance  high tech  Jan Twombly  partners  portfolio approach  stakeholder  summits  The Rhythm of Business 

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