Magazine Article | July 1, 2015

The Importance Of Having Partners You Can Count On

Source: Life Science Leader

By Rob Wright, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader
Follow Me On Twitter @RfwrightLSL

June provided a significant number of educational opportunities for life science executives. If you have any interest in oncology, you could probably be found at Chicago’s McCormick Place attending the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) annual meeting (May 29 to June 2). Biopharmaceutical manufacturing experts, such as Life Science Leader magazine editorial advisory board member, Andrew Skibo, were busy sharing best practices and insights during the ISPE/FDA/PQRI Quality Manufacturing Conference (June 1 to 3). Two weeks later, Washington, D.C., played host to the Drug Information Association’s (DIA) 51st Annual Meeting (June 14 to 18). At all of these valuable industry shows, it is likely you could find past, current, and future Life Science Leader editorial participants. But one person you would not have found at all three — me.

When agreeing to serve as BIO International’s Program Committee co-chair with Celgene’s SVP of corporate affairs and strategic market access, Richard Bagger, a conscious decision was made on how I would spend my most precious, limited, and non-renewable resource (i.e., time). Rather than try to be Jack of all tradeshows and master of none, with the annual convention also taking place in June (15 to 18), it seemed best to focus on helping plan, prepare, and execute only on BIO. (We are grateful to BIO for entrusting Life Science Leader with this tremendous partner responsibility.) Besides, our other editors were just as busy as I covering all of those other events.

For example, while Life Science Leader executive editor, Wayne Koberstein, was hard at work digging for future editorial ideas at ASCO, BioProcess Online chief editor, Trisha Gladd, and Pharmaceutical Online chief editor, Ken Congdon, gathered need-toknow regulatory insights and innovations in manufacturing systems at the Quality Manufacturing Conference. Whereas Clinical Leader chief editor, Ed Miseta, was diligent in discovering advances at DIA, Outsourced Pharma executive editor, Louis Garguilo, and Koberstein were striving to develop super powerful connections at BIO. All have contributed to the high-quality content at Life Science Leader. More than colleagues, they are editorial partners who can be trusted to consistently execute — flawlessly.

In fact, the intricacies of partnerships was one of the key topics discussed in this month’s cover feature (see p. 16) on Celgene’s George Golumbeski. He believes, when it comes to exercising control in an R&D partnership and/or an in-licensing deal, less is more. The SVP of business development is an advocate of empowerment — even going so far as to provide Celgene collaborators with final decision-making authority if consensus cannot be reached via agreed-upon partnership governance mechanisms. While Golumbeski is clear to point out that this “empowering escalation clause” exists only up to the point when Celgene opts to internalize a program, it is also clear his hands-off approach is very effective when it comes to delivering results. “If you’ve been very assiduous in picking your partners in the world of ‘X,’ why would you want to do a deal and then turn around and tell them what to do in the very early stages of whatever ‘X’ is,” he says. It seems much can be learned from exercising selfcontrol when it comes to wanting to meddle, especially if you want to build collaborations with partners you can count on.