Using partnerships and external collaboration to advance product innovation was discussed by Sandy Macrae, vice-president of scientific licensing of worldwide business development at GlaxoSmithKline at a keynote session, “Innovation to Commercialization,” at Interphex.
Macrae emphasized the importance of external collaboration to the pharmaceutical industry as whole and to GSK specifically. Forty percent of GSK’s pipeline is derived from licensing, acquisition, or other types of partnering, he said, revealing how the pharma industry has become open to external collaborations.
With these partnerships, it is critical to “manage the marriage,” said Macrae to create a mutually beneficial relationship, emphasizing that “one size does not fit all” when working with partners of different sizes and resources.
David King, former CEO of BioRexis Pharmaceuticals, who also spoke at the keynote session, echoed that point from the perspective of a small biotechnology company. Pfizer acquired BioRexis in 2007.
King said that he began building his relationship with Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies early in the company’s development and multiple years before the time the company was eventually acquired.
Both executives emphasized relationship-building and building an working environment in which both company’s cultures and processes can be assimilated into a successful collaboration.
What would you identify as critical success factors for external collaboration, including in outsourcing? Leave a comment below.