Magazine Article | June 12, 2012

Ask The Board June 2012

Source: Life Science Leader

Q: What was the most important thing you discovered when building your company?

That’s easy. Raise all the money you can, when you can. When we started Sequella, we raised our first investor round before we had acquired any technology. The round was to enable us to license in several technologies we’d found in universities. Because we had no IP at the time of the round, we decided to raise only $1 million, which we calculated would let us acquire at least one of our desired technologies and fund us for a year of operations. Our intention was to raise additional capital when we actually owned the IP. Then the tech bubble burst and investment stopped dead. We managed to bootstrap our way through the financial crisis, but we missed several late-stage opportunities, and our cash shortage lengthened our product development timelines, thereby prolonging time to revenue.

Dr. Carol Nacy is CEO of Sequella, a private company that develops new anti-infective drugs. She was formerly CSO at Anergen and EVP/CSO at EntreMed. She previously directed research in tropical infectious diseases at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Q: What recent management trend do you believe brought little or no value and yet companies eagerly adopted and implemented?

What is coming sooner than later will be the hiring of more employees because employees who are working are stretched thin. That is a good sign. A bad sign is that some hiring managers are making it known that they will not hire anyone who has been out of work for more than six months. That makes no sense given the fact that 14 million employees have been laid off in recent years. Many of those workers are fine contributors. They need to find employment, and they have talents and skills employees can use.

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: What performance measures have you found useful when implementing strategic collaboration toward portfolio optimization?

Typical performance measures are certainly the sales volume of the collaborator’s portfolio by the existing sales and distribution channels, but also any synergistic sales coming from the collaboration. Most commonly the intent of the collaboration is to fill one’s own portfolio gap, and with it, to access a new customer base. But the goal is also to introduce one’s own portfolio into new accounts, due to the fact that the collaborator’s equipment may need such products to complete a unit operation or process. The fulfillment of the customer’s request to gain access to a product or service bundle is another measurement, probably the most important. To summarize: Measurements commonly used are incremental sales revenues, new customer relations, profitability measurements, distribution channel expansion into potentially new regions, and competitive advantage measurements.

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


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