Magazine Article | January 13, 2012

Ask The Board January 2012

Source: Life Science Leader

Q: What is one way you can demonstrate leadership to your team?
Think small! Senior leaders are challenged to think big and to take the long view. That is wholly appropriate when it comes to setting strategies that complement the vision and mission of the organization. But, sometimes thinking big can make you forget to focus on what is in front of you — namely, your people. First, find ways to develop your direct reports individually. Give them assignments that force them to dig deep into their talents. Second, challenge them to think and act creatively. Innovation may be a difficult concept to nurture, but it is an easy thing to kill. Give folks permission to do things differently. Third, inform your direct reports that you want them to find ways to develop the talents of the individuals on their teams. It is positive reinforcement for them and for you. Only when you allow people to think and do differently will they begin to find solutions to the obstacles you face.

John Baldoni
Baldoni is an internationally recognized leadership development consultant, executive coach, author, and speaker. John teaches men and women to achieve positive results by focusing on communication, influence, motivation, and supervision.

Q: Is PES becoming the ultimate polymer for sterilizing-grade membrane filters?
There have been 20 sterilizing-grade filter launches since 2000; 19 of those were with PES (Polyethersulfon) membranes. This is probably a trend due to the fact that PES as a membrane polymer has properties (e.g. pleat designs, pleat packing, asymmetric structure of the membrane, as well as wetting and unspecific adsorption properties) which makes it easier for membrane manufacturers to optimize the product. Overall, one can say the benefits of PES as a sterilizing-grade filter membrane polymer are too beneficial to neglect. Having said this, other membrane polymers most certainly have their justification, especially since sterilizing-grade filters are chosen to fit optimally to specific applications. These other polymers will stay for the long run, though PES will probably dominate of them all.

Maik Jornitz
Jornitz is founder of BioProcess Resources and senior VP at Sartorius Stedim North America. He has close to 25 years of experience, focusing on biopharmaceutical validation, optimization, and training in sterilizing filtration.

Q: What would the impact be of the federal budget deficit reduction process to our industry as a whole and to Big Pharma?
For pharma companies that are profitable or nearing profitability, increases in tax rates or reductions in tax credits, net operating loss carry-forward options, or other tax incentives could reduce earnings and distributions to shareholders. In an industry struggling to find sources of profit and where expenditures benefit from tax shelters, drops in earnings would reduce the sector’s attractiveness versus other industries as we compete for investor dollars and would decrease R&D investment as tax offsets are unwound. For emerging and development-stage companies, reductions in tax credits and government funding could reduce innovation and spending on early stage products, as well as cause venture investors to flee from risk capital. Clearly deficit reduction is critical, but there could be some important near-term consequences for pharma.

Mark Pykett, Ph.D.
Pykett has more than 15 years of pharma industry executive management experience. He has been a senior exec at multiple companies, including CEO at Talaris Advisors, president/COO of Alseres Pharmaceuticals, president of CyGenics, CEO of Cytomatrix, and executive director of Oramax.