Biotech: Industry Perspectives and Business Development
This course is designed to examine the strategic issues that confront the management of the development stage biotech company, i.e., after its start-up via an initial venture capital infusion, but before it might be deemed successful (e.g., by virtue of a product launch), or otherwise has achieved “first-tier” status. Thus, the intention is to study the biotech organization during the process of its growth and maturation from an early stage existence through "adolescence" into an "adult" company.
The key point is how does one research and develop a life science technology or product to the point where it is ready for the marketplace and how does one finance that relatively protracted process? Almost inevitably, at least a part of the answer to this question, and thus an element in the business and financial history of most biotech companies, has involved partnering with others, both as a means to perform aspects of the R&D process, as well as generate funding for that work. Hence, the focus of the class will be on business development, i.e., the deal making that must occur to accomplish these corporate objectives – both to bring in new technologies and especially, to facilitate getting the initial product(s) to market (and pay for the R&D required to make that happen). We will explore the critical deal issues from both the perspective of the development stage company and the viewpoint of the larger, more mature biotech or big pharma company with which it seeks to partner. Emphasis will be on biotech companies in the healthcare sector (primarily therapeutics, but also vaccines and diagnostics) with some (comparative) discussion of other industry areas, e.g., agriculture (veterinary and crop plant science).
Specific topics to be addressed will include: a brief review of the underlying biological science and its potential commercial application(s); the process of drug discovery and pharmaceutical research and (preclincical and clinical) development; the role of intellectual property and elements of the patent process; various partnering strategies and deal structures and examples of same (options, licenses, technology transfer, collaborations, supply contracts, joint ventures, M&A etc.); a description of the deal process, that is, the steps from identification and initial contact with the prospective partner, through the negotiation, to consummation and agreement execution, plus relationship management thereafter, including, as appropriate, a review of the outcome of certain partnerships to determine whether or not the relationship was successful from the perspective of each party and the deal factors that contributed to, or interfered with, achieving such success (or failure).
See the MOT site for details.