Magazine Article | July 12, 2011

Ask The Board August 2011

Source: Life Science Leader

Q: What is your go-to resource for staying up to speed on the constantly evolving regulatory changes taking place in pharma and bio?

I use a variety of resources, but for regulatory updates it’s primarily the FDA and EMA websites and those of other authorities around the world. I also look out for the views of industry associations such as the AAPS and, of course, consult regularly with our own customers. In addition, I scan a wide cross-section of the pharmaceutical industry media for commentary, discussion, and further insight into the practical implications of regulatory developments. As a supplier of analytical instrumentation to the pharmaceutical industry it is extremely important for us to have as wide a view as possible of the practicalities of regulatory evolution and their impact on the working practices of our current and prospective customers.

Tim Freeman is director of operations for powder characterization company Freeman Technology. He has 10 years experience in understanding and characterizing powder behavior, and works closely with the pharma and powder processing industries.

Q: How can I determine what topic to present at a pharma/bio conference?
Presentations should be intended to provide valuable and useful information to a specific audience. So, the single most important factor on deciding whether to present at a conference is to first discover what the audience wants. Presenters get the most ROI for their time when they deliver something of value. If you, as the presenter simply deliver what you want to say, for example, results of research that isn’t relevant to the audience (or worse yet, a sales pitch), it’s likely you’ll bore an audience and waste their time and yours.  Try to figure out what an audience wants, and whether you have something interesting and important to tell them. Presentations should be about them, not you. Frankly, I think the majority of presentations fail to achieve this objective.

Eric Langer is president and managing partner at BioPlan Associates, Inc. He has more than 20 years experience in biotechnology and life sciences international marketing, management, market assessment, and publishing.

Q: Given the pressures and the thousands of items that need to get done, what criteria are used to prioritize an individual’s total schedule (work, family, self)?
The answer changes based on where you are in your career, what your goals are, who you are, and where you find yourself in your current environment. There is no one right answer. It’s all personal. If you have young children, you know they grow up fast, and you don’t want to miss their milestones. If you are healthy, you want to remain that way, since you can’t be a good coworker or parent if you are suffering. If you have a challenging work environment, you need to plan out how to keep on top of your work and progress through the ranks. There is no general work-life-balance — it’s all about you and your environment. But, with 5 children, 4 grandchildren, a 40-year marriage, and a challenging career, I can personally testify that you can do this … no matter where you find yourself. Stop fretting and make a plan!

Carol Nacy, Ph.D. is CEO of Sequella, Inc., a private company that develops new antiinfective drugs. She was formerly CSO at Anergen and EVP/CSO at EntreMed. Prior to her business experience, Dr. Nacy directed research in tropical infectious diseases at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, DC.

Win A Copy Of This Book!

Ask the Board wants to hear from you. Have a question that you would like to pose to our editorial advisory board of experts? Send it to

If we select your question for publication, we will provide you with a complimentary copy of a business book such as James M. Strock’s Serve To Lead. Strock is a recognized authority and renowned speaker on the theory and practice of leadership. To read more from him, check out our “Leadership Lessons” section on page 50.