2017 Archived Content

Strategic Alliance Management Congress

The successful development of new medicines and combinations is becoming increasingly reliant on harnessing an alliance ecosystem. As the rate of pharmaceutical and biotech partnering continues to rise, alliance management, and the development of an organization’s alliance capability, have evolved into critical components for successful execution and maximized value of each partnership. Yet alliance managers are often confronted with myriad challenges, including managing increasingly complex and distinct types of partnerships, dealing with integrations or divestments, overcoming corporate and cultural diversity, as well as navigating organizational restructuring, team turnover and partnership termination. The need for effective methods to systematically manage biopharma partnerships throughout their entire lifecycle continues to drive and shape the discipline of alliance management.

Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 14th Annual Strategic Alliance Management Congress, May 1-3, brings together senior alliance management, business development, technology transfer and licensing professionals, to network, share experiences, discuss case studies, and share the components that cultivate successful partnerships. Delegates will gain strategic insights, proven tools, methods, and perspectives from a variety of leaders advancing the art of alliance management.

Final Agenda

Monday, May 1

8:30 am Pre-Conference Workshop Registration and Morning Coffee

9:00 am – 12:00 pm Pre-Conference Workshop*

Building Self-Awareness and Flexibility in Conflict Styles:
Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument

A central challenge in managing alliances is effectively resolving differences and achieving alignment with both internal stakeholders and alliance partners. Through the lens of the Thomas-Kilmann conflict management style assessment, participants in this session will explore their personal style for addressing conflict and understand those of others. After a brief interactive presentation on conflict styles, participants engage in a series of facilitated discussions to explore the tension between delivering on their own mandates and being responsive to competing mandates that others may have, and how to discuss these conflicts openly, honestly, and in a productive fashion.

Participants will be sent a link to the survey / assessment, and asked to fill it in prior to the Congress.


Electra Hui, Senior Consultant, Vantage Partners

Michael Kalikow, Senior Consultant, Vantage Partners

*Separate registration required

12:00 pm Conference Registration

1:10 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks and Welcome

Kip Harry, Senior Director, Conferences, Cambridge Healthtech Institute


1:15 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: How to Get It Done – Concepts and Tricks for Efficient Deal-Making

Christoph Pittius, Ph.D., Vice President and Head, Transactions, Global Portfolio & Product Strategy Business Development, AstraZeneca AB

I will give an overview of the deal-making process encompassing identification of licensing and M&A opportunities, appropriate partner selection, deal structuring and negotiation strategies. The presentation is given from the perspectives of both the licensor and the licensee and points out pitfalls to avoid and best practices to embrace. Scientific, financial, tax, accounting, human resources as well as anti-trust considerations are outlined so that the listener gets a tool box of what to consider and pull off a successful deal that results in engaged parties embracing a trusting relationship that is ready for successful alliance management once the deal is signed.

2:00 The Impact of Alliances on Shareholder Returns in Pharma & Life Sciences

Dimitri Drone, Partner, Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Leader, Transaction Services, PwC

In this session, we will examine the total returns to shareholders of life science companies to identify to what extent deals (alliances and acquisitions) have contributed to the value of one or both parties. From our analysis, we will draw out characteristics of those life science companies and arrangements that appear to create value for both parties to the alliance. We will also discuss how to think about value creation related to the various activities in an alliance, including the magnitude of upfront and milestone payments, fees for services and future royalties relative to one another.


2:30 Case Study: Do You Need Alliance Management?

Céline Carlet, Head, Alliance Management, Global Operations Management, Ferring International SA

According to a Deloitte study 63% of the pharma industry does not have a dedicated alliance manager. This presentation will be about the lonely journey I went on introducing Alliance Management in a mid-size company with zero knowledge on contract or partnership management. This is a real life case on building an AM function from basics to a more elaborated management of AM resources.

3:00 People in Alliance Management

Lena Frank, Executive Director, Program & Alliance Management, Oncology Business Group, Eisai Inc.

Whether you are considering hiring your first alliance manager, developing an alliance management group or looking to transform your group, there are a number of factors to consider: 1. Should alliance management be a standalone function? 2. Is there a difference between alliance management and project management? 3. What skill sets and capabilities are needed in alliance management? 4. How do you find your next alliance manager?

3:30 Networking Refreshment Break with Exhibit Viewing


4:10 Chairperson’s Remarks

Mark Coflin, Head, Alliance Management, Corporate Planning & Program Management, Shire

4:15 Building the Engine while Flying: Lessons in Creating an Alliance Already in Flight

Mary Jo Struttmann, Executive Director, Alliance Management, Astellas Pharma, Inc.

Assuming responsibility for a research alliance as it transitions into full development can be wrought with challenges. During this presentation, the process that led to ‘new beginnings’ for this alliance will be discussed.

4:45 Novel Resourcing Model to Support Externalization

Joseph McCullough, Ph.D., Alliance Director, AstraZeneca

Rhythm of Business 5:15 Into the Vortex: Leading the Power to Partner Everywhere

Jan Twombly, CSAP, President, The Rhythm of Business

Partnering is ubiquitous. It is happening everywhere in every function of a biopharma company. New partners often come from unexpected places. An ecosystem perspective is required to address new challenges and keep traditional alliances and collaborations on track. Explore the implications on how alliance processes must adapt and evolve – from partnering models to governance and measurement. Understand the new mindset and skillset required for alliance managers to succeed now that partnering is everywhere.

5:45 Welcome Reception with Exhibit Viewing (Sponsorship Opportunity Available)

7:00 Close of Day

Tuesday, May 2

8:00 Interactive Breakout Discussion Groups and Speed Networking

Grab a cup of coffee and delve deeper into some of the overarching concerns facing alliances today. These are moderated roundtables with brainstorming and interactive problem solving, allowing conference participants from diverse backgrounds to have frank discussion while exchanging ideas, experiences, and developing future collaborations around a focused topic.

Table 1: Alliance Management at the Forefront of Deal Making

One of the principal roles of an alliance manager is to manage the collaboration based on an agreed upon contract. Ahead of the contract signing, during the negotiation process, alliance managers are in a unique position to provide input based on the management of past deals. This group will explore ways in which Alliance Management can get involved earlier in the deal making process, transferring the knowledge and experience of managing other partnerships.

  • At what point should Alliance Management get involved in the deal making process?
  • What contributions can an alliance manager make to the negotiation process?
  • How would a partner perceive Alliance Management at the table? What message would that deliver about your company's approach to partnership?
  • What steps are required to gain alignment in your own organization about the role of Alliance Management in the deal making process?

Table 2: Alliance Launch

Organizations commit significant resources to alliance deals that are central components of the organization’s long term strategy. Too often, however, such deals get “thrown over the fence” from those who identify the asset, to those responsible for negotiating and closing the deal, to those finally responsible for managing the working relationship with the partner organization. This group will explore some of the challenges and some best practices for launching an alliance for success.

  • How, if at all, does your organization employ a systematic approach to launch alliances?
  • What are the initial challenges, necessities and opportunities during an alliance launch?

Table 3: Alliance Management & Project Management – Managing the Divide

Alliance Management (AM) and Project/Program Management (PM) can be similar enough that many companies struggle to manage the divide between the functions, or debate if the two functions need to be separate. This roundtable will tackle the issues of whether alliance management and project management should be treated separately or as a combined function, including the following topics:

  • Benefits of separate functions versus single function
  • Assigning roles and responsibilities
  • Ensuring responsibilities of both functions are managed adequately

Table 4: Introducing Alliance Management to a Growing Biotech Company

A larger percentage of alliance deals in the life sciences space involve a Big Pharma – Biotech partnership. This group will discuss the key aspects to consider before introducing alliance management to biotech companies.

  • What types of alliances should innovative enterprises form?
  • Which alliance management skills and tools do companies need to possess?
  • How can organizations develop a culture of open innovation?
  • What are the ways to create value and share it among stakeholders involved?
  • How do you get CEO & senior management engagement?
  • What questions should senior management ask as they implement policies, processes, and SOPs that will apply to (and possibly conflict with) partners

Table 5: A Review of Best Practices for Collaborations between Pharmaceutical Companies and Companion Diagnostic Providers

At some point most pharmaceutical companies look for a diagnostic partner. This group will discuss issues surrounding selecting a partner and avoiding challenges in managing these types of partnerships.

  • What factors do you consider in selection of a companion diagnostics partner?
  • What are the key milestones and associated decision points moving forward in diagnostic development?
  • Is your CoDx agreement implemented in stages, i.e., first for IDE, then for validation, then for assay development and finally for PMA? Or are all facets of the process implemented together?
  • How long does it take to complete an agreement with a CoDx partner?
  • Is it a fee for service, pay as you go or broader alliance?


9:25 Chairperson’s Remarks

Stuart Kliman, J.D., Partner, Vantage Partners

9:30 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Why Alliances Really Go Wrong: Key Dynamics That Get in the Way of Effective Alliance Execution

Stuart Kliman, J.D., Partner, Vantage Partners

As we all know, alliances can far too easily run off the rails – people get caught in unhelpful dynamics, get stuck in problematic “act / react” cycles, and fail to engage in productive ways. To deal with these kinds of challenges Alliance Managers need to understand the system dynamics in play and to then design interventions focused on changing those in productive and ultimately sustainable ways. In this interactive presentation we will discuss many of the most common alliance disabling dynamics, their causes and how Alliance Managers can identify and intervene in them to help their alliances meet their goals.

10:15 Alliance Capability – How to Develop a Corporate Capability and Explore the Upsides for the Organization

Karen Denton, Director, Alliance Management, Bayer Health Care Pharmaceuticals

This presentation will detail a recent initiative at Bayer to develop and implement an over-arching alliance management competency model and associated developmental pathways for both alliance managers and those working on alliances.

10:45 Networking Coffee Break with Exhibit Viewing


11:15 The AM Lifecycle: Negotiation to Termination

Anna Maroney, Ph.D., Vice President & Head, Alliance Management, AbbVie

By the simple nature of entering into alliances to explore new opportunities, it is not surprising that some will prove to be less fruitful than initially expected. Although strategic alliances are often viewed as a critical device for pursuing growth opportunities, survey data suggest that roughly one half of all alliance portfolios underperform. Ultimately, it is in the best interest of both parties to achieve an amicable separation. The presentation will address considerations for optimal exit planning that include communication preparation, financial negotiations, and technical wind-down schedules.

11:45 Management of Divestitures

Dana Hughes, Vice President & Global Head, Integration and Alliance Management, Worldwide Business Development Group, Pfizer

While acquisitions and new partnerships are the engines of growth, regular pruning of your company’s portfolio can be equally as important to a healthy balance sheet and enterprise. While there are a range of options to balance your investment, we will discuss important choices specific to a divestiture process and the potential impacts of those choices for organizational burden and value realization.

Covington 12:15 pm Luncheon Presentation: Strategies for Successfully Transitioning from Negotiation to Implementation

John Hurvitz, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

This presentation will discuss deal structure issues that impact execution, strategies for transitioning from negotiation to implementation, tips to reduce the risks of litigation and challenges with CVRs and earnouts.


1:40 Chairperson’s Remarks

Julia Gershkovich, Head, North America R&D Alliance Management, Sanofi

1:45 The Sanofi Case Study of Building an Effective Alliance Management Organization

Julia Gershkovich, Head, North America R&D Alliance Management, Sanofi

This presentation will highlight Sanofi’s internal efforts for continued organizational improvements, experiences with KPIs on the alliance portfolio, and experiences with internal training of Alliance Management.

2:15 Alliance Management Initiatives at Bayer

Michael Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA, Director, Alliance Management, Business Development & Licensing, Bayer HealthCare

This presentation will look at a variety of different methodologies for assessing alliance capability and then a framework for looking at different areas of that capability: Strategic — Extent to which the company is oriented for partnering success; Operational — Extent to which the capabilities and processes to support effective joint alliance execution; and Mindset/Culture — Extent to which leadership and incentives ensure the appropriate behaviors. An implementation plan for improvement will be discussed with practical examples for building on strengths and managing weaknesses.

2:45 Working Together for Better Health

Mark Ralph, Global Head, Contracts and Alliance Management, Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim seeks to establish mutually beneficial collaborations with academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical partners in areas of strategic interest. We see these partnerships as being critical to the success of our drug discovery efforts and our pursuit of better therapeutics for the patients we serve. This presentation will give an overview of Boehringer Ingelheim, our partnering philosophy and strategic interests, in addition to detailing our approach to alliance management and how we seek to drive collaborations to have mutually beneficial outcomes.

3:15 Networking Refreshment Break with Exhibit Viewing

4:00 Shaping a New Company Capability in Alliance Leadership

Mark Coflin, Head, Alliance Management, Corporate Planning & Program Management, Shire

Shaping a new company with an innovative approach to Alliance Management leadership is an exciting opportunity! Shire is the leading rare disease-focused biotech focused on rare disease targeting highly specialized conditions. This presentation will discuss key learnings on designing and building the organizational Alliance Management capability, championing change and overcoming obstacles in the journey. This presentation will share the vision of success, the roadmap, and practical tips for everyone.

4:30 Celgene’s Alliance Management - Building Capabilities with Diverse Relationships

Soo Bang, Executive Director, Business Development & Global Alliances, Celgene Corporation

This presentation will provide an overview of Celgene’s story, including details on its driving culture, core focus and pipeline, including the alliance management history. Discussion will focus on how we build and manage diverse partnerships and our approach to managing the portfolio of alliances, as well as share what’s next for Celgene’s partnerships.

5:00 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Deploying AM Resources across a Dynamic Alliance Portfolio

Nancy Forrest, Vice President, Global Alliances and Operations, Bristol-Myers Squibb

As companies become more reliant on partnering, alliance portfolio management increases in importance. The portfolio can vary from early stage to late stage assets, ‘easy’ to ‘complex,’ and specialty to primary care. Each carries its own unique challenges, but also alliance portfolio challenges as well. In addition, new alliance models, such as clinical collaborations, are emerging, furthering complexity. This session discusses concepts of alliance portfolio management.

5:45 Close of Day

Wednesday, May 3

8:00 am Morning Coffee


8:25 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Harry Atkins, Senior Director, Corporate Development and Alliance Management, Aralez Pharmaceuticals US, Inc.

8:30 A Smooth Transition: Alliance Management Case Studies in Divestment

John Parapatt, Director, Business Development/Divestitures, Merck & Co., Inc.

Harry Atkins, Senior Director, Corporate Development and Alliance Management, Aralez Pharmaceuticals US, Inc.

The industry has seen a shift towards gaining value and optionality out of non-core assets, and headlines are now filled every month with news of yet another divestment. From Big Pharma, to mid-size pharma, to private equity backed specialty pharma, the trend has been a steady stream of assets changing hands. This presentation will cover a case study from both the Seller (the large pharma company) and the Buyer (the smaller acquiring company) perspective. The presenters will answer the key questions of what happens when an asset changes hands, why the burden usually falls to the Alliance Management department, and how Alliance Management can best work through the thorny issues that you will encounter during divestment, transition, and post-transition phases.

9:15 Co-Presentation and Case Study: A Successful Biopharma Research Collaboration Lasting Over a Decade

Doug Williams, Director, Licensing & Business Development, Alliance Management, Purdue Pharma

Izumi Kawabata, Head, Alliance Management, Alliance Management and Business Development, Shionogi & Co., Ltd.

This co-presentation will provide a case study on a successful biopharma research collaboration that was initiated in 2005 between Purdue Pharma and Shionogi and still continues today. The presentation will include an overview of each company, the rationale for the alliance and the ongoing projects related to this collaboration.

10:00 Case Study: How to Create Value for Your Organization with a Strategic Approach to Managing Partnerships

MaryAnne McCarthy, Executive Director Alliance Management, Incyte Corporation

Over the past year we have focused on the strategic role of Alliance Management in our organization; specifically, how to create value for your organization with a strategic approach to managing partnerships. During this presentation I will discuss strategic value creation by reducing redundancy, maximizing individual contributions and modeling the future state of the alliance.

10:30 Networking Coffee Break with Exhibit Viewing


11:30 Sandoz’s Approach to Partnerships and Collaboration

Mahen Gundecha, Head, Alliance Management, Sandoz

Sandoz is currently engaged in biotech cooperation with a number of leading organizations and continuously looks to extend its number of partnerships in the future. This strong experience combined with a successful track record of accomplishments and state-of-the-art plants, offers a unique opportunity to partners interested in pursuing manufacturing cooperation. This presentation will detail our approach to alliance management, and insights into how to get the most of a manufacturing partnership.

12:00 pm Improving Development and Manufacturing Alliances

José Ochoa, Chief Business Officer & Head, Animal Health Americas, IDT Biologika Corporation

IDT Biologika offers customers access to highly integrated development and manufacturing services, including one of the most comprehensive quality control and testing programs in the industry. This presentation will highlight the execution and lessons learned from recent alliances IDT Biologika has entered into to provide an end-to-end solution for the manufacture of antibody drug conjugates and live virus filling and finishing services.

12:30 Close of Conference

For more details on the conference, please contact:
Kip Harry
Senior Conference Director
Cambridge Healthtech Institute
T: (+1) 781-972-5454
E: kharry@healthtech.com

For partnering and sponsorship information, please contact:
Carolyn Benton
Manager, Business Development
Cambridge Healthtech Institute
T: (+1) 781-972-5412
E: cbenton@healthtech.com