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Lilly and WuXi App Tech: Tips and Insights from a Successful Western and Chinese Pharmaceutical Collaboration

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Friday, September 9, 2016

Only 50 percent of China’s population is urbanized, which means the pace of change over the next decade is likely to be colossal. Its already one of the largest and fastest growing pharmaceutical markets. But it also can be one of the most challenging for alliance managers to negotiate because of the cultural differences. 

Eli Lilly and Company is known for being one of the firstand most persistentpharmaceuticals to make inroads into China. The company began with an R&D partnership with Shanghai-based WuXi App Tech in 2003. Last year, the companies entered into a significant strategic collaboration for a new project as part of a global program. 

For Brent Harvey, CA-AM, director of alliances at Lilly, the test tube is clearly more than half-full when it comes to doing business in China. “How do we leverage the difference between our two companies or cultures for competitive advantage?” he asked during the session “A New Model for Western and Chinese Pharmaceutical Partnering,” at the 2016 ASAP BioPharma Conference “New Faces, Unexpected Places in Partnering: The Foresight to Lead, the Foundation to Succeed” held Sept. 7-9 at the Revere Hotel Boston Common, Boston. 

Assisting with the presentation was Zhihui Qiu, Director of Strategic Transactions, at WuXi App Tech (Shanghai) Co., who shared her company’s perspective. The two company representatives discussed their approach to resolve cultural differences, cut government red tape, and extract long-term value from the partnership. They provided several valuable tips gleaned from the experience: 

IP Security
Harvey: We typically manage the IP at the mother ship. But we also have local counsel. It is so hard to keep track of what’s going on there, so it’s important to have that local presence. 

Qiu: IP is receiving increasing attention in China. Dedicated IP Courts were established in China earlier this year. In the United States, you tend to have very good IP management. In China, it is not a big practice yet. You probably need local help and US counsel to work together to make sure you are protected. 

Contracts

Harvey: We try to de-risk as much as we can in the contract. We tend to view it as definitive, while the Chinese view it as general guideline. When I think about Western trust, it’s someone who honors his or her word. In China, this perspective is about honing change in mutualities. Chinese people want to stay practical. They don’t want to rewrite their contact. 

Qiu:  Contacts tend to be simple and boilerplates are greatly simplified. As the relationship evolves, the contract may be replaced by a new one to better serve the purpose. 

Making the Deal

Harvey: It’s very important to have high-profile executives helping to build trust and social capital. In Western culture, the deal is the deal, and we would probably celebrate it by going to a bar. 

Qiu: We might celebrate the major deals with a ceremony. The government is trying to foster and build innovation in pharma industry, and we would invite multiple government officials and key opinion leaders to the ceremony to raise their awareness. 

Planning and Team Meetings

Harvey: Time zone differences can be challenging; use a lunar calendar because holidays will change. It’s very important to have actions and decisions clearly documented in meeting minutes. The Chinese have a different approach to planning with optimistic and aggressive milestone dates. It has benefitted Lilly to be stretched and pushed by aggressive Chinese firms. Relationships are important, but there is a lot of turnover in Chinese firms, which is something you should be aware of going in. 

Qiu: Chinese company power is more centralized, which allows the Chinese to push. Our teams are Western educated; the English is really good, which helps a lot with communications. You won’t need translators. Face-to-face meetings are important. 

Regulatory pathways

Harvey: China issued a new policy to allow biotech companies to hold product licenses. Manufacturers used to be the only ones who could hold the license. Things change so quickly in China, and you need to think about how you are staffing your alliances to be agile and adaptable in this very, very dynamic environment.

Qiu: New drugs used to be produced by the multinationals, and domestic companies didn’t have the capability for innovation, but that has changed in the last 10 years. A government agency set prices incentives for innovative drugs developed by domestic companies. 

Government Regulation

Harvey: It took a lot of conversation, the documents were in Chinese, and requirements needed transcription. It took a lot to engage the expertise of Lilly’s Shanghai and Beijing offices. It was not easy to figure out what we needed to do to have an acceptable package. 

Qiu: You need local people who truly understand regulatory affairs in China. Your approach depends on what route you are going and the specific goals you are trying to achieve. 

Tags:  ASAP BioPharma Conference  Brent Harvey  contracts  cultural differences  cultures  Eli Lilly and Company  Government Regulation  high-profile executives  IP Security  partnership  pharmaceuticals  Planning and Team Meetings  R&D partnership  Regulatory pathways  strategic transactions  WuXi App Tech  Zhihui Qiu 

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New Offerings at ASAP BioPharma Conference Address Wide-ranging Impacts on the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Saturday, August 27, 2016

As futuristic technologies become realities, professionals in the life sciences and healthcare industries are consulting their maps and charts to determine how their companies should navigate the new waters. Attendees at ASAP’s next BioPharma Conference will have an opportunity to collectively view the vast possibilities at “New Faces, Unexpected Places in Partnering: The Foresight to Lead, the Foundation to Succeed,” Sept. 7-9 at the Revere Hotel in Boston, Mass., USA. This year’s conference will address wide-ranging impacts on the industry, including the changing political scene, multi-partnering, the Internet of Things, and assistive technologies. 

 

After a rich offering of workshops on Sept. 7, the conference will kick off with a timely address from keynote speaker Dr. Sam Nussbaum, strategic consultant, EGB Advisors, Inc., who will present a talk on “Healing the U.S. Health Care System: Collaboration is Essential” (for more information about Nussbaum, see the link in this E-news), followed by a networking opportunity. The following two days include a plenary and about 26 forward-thinking, thought-provoking sessions from which to choose.

 

"The ASAP Biopharma Conference is a must-attend for alliance professionals of all experience levels,” says Jan Twombly, CSAP, former ASAP chairman of programming, and president of The Rhythm of Business. “It traditionally offers equal parts of looking outward to how the industry is changing and the implications for managing the risk and optimizing the value of alliances and other collaborations, as well as looking inward to develop the mindset, skillset, and toolset of a modern alliance capability.”

 

Well-known and respected industry luminaries are unveiling some never-before-presented information and perspectives. Take, for example, these insightful offerings:

  •  “Applying the Latest Alliance Management Research to Your Partnering Practice,” presented by Stuart Kliman, CA-AM, partner, alliance practice leader at Vantage Partners, and Shawn Wilson, DBA, vice president and general manager at Beaulieu Group: Two new groundbreaking research studies provide critical data on current trends, challenges, and opportunities in the alliance management profession.
  • “A New Model for Western and Chinese Pharmaceutical Partnering,” presented by Brent Harvey, CA-AM, director of Alliances, Eli Lilly and Company: "How To" insights on collaboration drawn from a longstanding, advanced partnership model between Eli Lilly and Company and WuXi AppTech, which provides, among other things, examples of how to leverage the regulatory environment in China to bring new drugs to market faster.
  • “New Partnerships between High Tech and BioPharma and the Alliance Management Practices to Support Them,” presented by Russ Buchanan, CSAP head of corporate alliances at Xerox Corporation, Joseph Schramm, VP strategic alliances at BeyondTrust, and David Thompson, CA-AM chief alliance officer at Eli Lilly and Company: Key insights provided by two highly accomplished technology company alliance executives that are sure to generate discussion about how biopharma alliance professionals can overcome potential challenges when partnering with tech companies.

 Preparing for rapid change is a central theme throughout the conference, and some of the workshops are offering essential “updates” for the alliance management toolbox. “With many more partners for many more purposes, new partnering models and differences to leverage, no alliance manager can rest on his or her laurels,” points out Twombly. “Unique among biopharma alliance management conferences, the ASAP Biopharma Conference leans in on where the profession is going, not where it has been."

 

Several workshops being offered emphasize the need to stay abreast of pressing industry changes, such as “Next Generation Alliance Management, Lean and Agile” facilitated by Lynda McDermott, CA-AM, president of EquiPro International, and Annick De Swaef, CSAP, managing partner of Consensa Consulting. Their workshop addresses digitalization’s influence on biopharma and cross-industry partnering, and it centers around basic questions that everyone in the industry is asking: “Are my team's current alliance best practices future proof? Should my alliance team acquire new skills?” De Swaef recommends combining ASAP’s newly launched in-company team training with the CA-AM Certification Exam Prep to strengthen company capabilities, expand into new areas of value creation, and introduce new best practices.

 

Twombly and Rhythm of Business Principal, Jeff Shuman, CSAP, are offering their own forward-thinking, 90-minute, hands-on workshop on design thinking for complex problems, such as for multi-partnering, non-asset-base alliances, and partnering with “sectors who run on much faster clock speeds than is typically seen in biopharma.” The data-driven, user experience-centered innovation and problem-solving methodology has been adapted for alliances and partnering practices.

 ASAP also plans to unveil a new custom-designed session: The ASAP Aquarium, facilitated by Twombly. Similar to a “fishbowl” communications activity, where the line is intentionally blurred between listeners and participants, ASAP’s version will start off with a deep discussion between industry thought leaders and senior-level partnering executives as the audience gazes into the aquarium. Listeners will then be able to “tap in,” join the discussion with a hot idea or new perspective, and replace the initial participants. The session provides for a fun way to actively engage and contribute to the collective wisdom of the group while exploring the questions that matter most as alliance professionals “engage with new faces and in unexpected places.”

Tags:  Alliance Professionals  Annick De Swaef  ASAP BioPharma Conference  BeyondTrust  Brent Harvey  collaboration  David Thompson  Dr. Sam Nussbaum  Eli Lilly and Company  EquiPro International  Jan Twombly  Jeff Shuman  Joseph Schramm  Lynda McDermott  Russ Buchanan  The Rhythm of Business  WuXi AppTech  Xerox 

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What’s Brewing in the 2016 Biopharma Conference Beaker? | Part 2

Posted By Cynthia B. Hanson, Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, July 19, 2016

In a recent interview, ASAP CEO Mike Leonetti, CSAP, provided a sampling of what’s to come at the 2016 ASAP BioPharma Conference. He offered insights into the changing landscape for partnerships and how alliance managers and others need to adapt, as well as a preview of speakers and cutting edge sessions and workshops. 

What about ASAP? What’s brewing in the beaker and will be shared at the conference?

We will be unveiling, and introducing the author of, ASAP’s new study “The Economics of Alliances, Social Capital, and Alliance Performance,” which is scheduled for release after the conference as ASAP’s 6th State of Alliances study. You can read a preview of the study and view some of the research data in the upcoming Summer Strategic Alliance Magazine. Dr. Shawn Wilson, the author, has worked with ASAP to provide financial and economic return on investment (ROI) analytics that are a direct outcome of alliance/partnership management excellence.

What are some of the cutting edge, not-to-be-missed sessions you recommend?

While every session is going to be fantastic, the session that discusses digital or tech partnering capabilities, “New Partnerships between High Tech and BioPharma and the Alliance Management Practices to Support Them,” led by Russ Buchanan, CSAP, head of corporate alliances, Xerox Corporation, and “New Partnerships Between High Tech and BioPharma and the Alliance Management Practices to Support Them,” facilitated by Donna Peek, CSAP, director, partner enablement & operations at SAS Institute, will be timely. The unveiling of ASAP’s research and “Applying the Latest Alliance Management Research to Your Partnering Practice,” by Shawn Wilson, in conjunction with Stuart Kliman, CA-AM, who is presenting Vantage Partners’ research findings, should not be missed.  I think the sessions on “Strategic Perspectives on a Partnership's First 100 Days” offer a new twist on partnering with new players. Another session on partnering in China addresses the crucial need to understand and learn about that country, “A New Model for Western and Chinese Pharmaceutical Partnering,” by Brent Harvey, CA-AM, director, alliance management at Eli Lilly and Company.

Every year ASAP provides workshops for the alliance management toolbox. What’s new in the box this year?

There are several fantastic “Tools and Techniques” pre-conference workshops, the CA-AM and CSAP prep workshops, the Eli Lilly and Company “Alliance Management, Tools and Techniques, “ which never fails to draw rave reviews, as well as one from Candido Arreche, CA-AM, global director of portfolio & partner management, six sigma black belt at Xerox Worldwide Alliances, on “How to Resolve Conflict in Your Alliance.” New to ASAP is the workshop “Next Generation Alliance Management, Lean and Agile,” facilitated by Lynda McDermott, CA-AM, president of Equipro International, and Annick De Swaef, CSAP, president of Consensa, which will preview ASAP’s new corporate alliance management and certification program designed to offer a customized workshop for a company wishing to quickly add to its partnership capability and value creation.

To view the program and download brochure information, go to www. asapweb.org/biopharma.

Tags:  Alliance Management  Annick DeSwaef  Brent Harvey  Candido Arreche  certification  Consensa  digital  Donna Peek  Dr. Shawn Wilson  Eli Lilly and Company  Equipro International  Lynda McDermott  partnership  Russ Buchanan  SAS  Stuart Kliman  Vantage Partners  Xerox Worldwide Alliances 

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