In a world where the appetite seems insatiable for ever-better methods of helping humankind cope with new and persistent maladies, opportunities are great for life sciences companies holding discoveries that could spawn the next wonder drug.
Pursuing these opportunities are many small, lean ventures, armed with increasingly sophisticated tools for better understanding disease states and also an incessant drive to find novel ways of ameliorating them.
The scientific discovery process is daunting and risk-laden for these developers, but it is only a part of the challenge they face.
Equally challenging, but qualitatively very different, is the task of figuring out when and how to extract value from their discoveries and create products that can be successful in the marketplace.
Shifting gears from the lab to the negotiating table, where deals to license and further develop promising assets with prospective partners are hammered out, is a predictably difficult transition for the average SME and biotech outfit.
Principals, usually supremely gifted and talented in the science of their product, eventually face the challenge of shepherding their asset through a laborious, but unavoidable process of translating scientific work into business value. Ultimately, it is only by clearing the hurdles of business development and licensing (BD&L) that they can unlock the value embedded in their hard-earned intellectual property and secure the kinds of deals that fairly reward them for their efforts.
What these ventures need is a reliable road map for navigating the BD&L process. It also requires communications skills, knowledge, empathy, preparation and strong conviction blended with adaptability to achieve an equitable deal. Only by approaching BD&L with a seriousness of purpose and commitment to getting it right will asset owners have a chance to be fairly rewarded for a long and costly development effort.