Life Science Leader Magazine Supplements

CMO 2015

The vision of Life Science Leader is to help facilitate connections and foster collaborations in pharma and med device development to get more life-saving and life-improving therapies to market in an efficient manner. Connect, Collaborate, Contribute

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 51 of 83

LIFESCIENCELEADER.COM THE CMO LEADERSHIP AWARDS 2015 52 BUSINESS CHALLENGES startups from that LLC report back to you. That will keep you from having to deal with all of them individually. SOMETIMES, THINGS WILL GO WRONG No matter how much time you put into building relationships, sometimes things will still not go as planned. The panelists were prepared to share some of their personal experiences. "With one company I was with, we made the decision to purchase portable containment facilities to aid in a manu- facturing process," noted one panelist. "We did not have a lot of money at the time, and I believe we paid around $100,000 for them. Unfortunately, they were frames with a plastic bag that just did not do what they were supposed to. Eventually, we threw them in the trash. We also wast- ed a lot of time and energy trying to make them work. The lesson learned from that was with a new technology, check it out thoroughly ahead of time and make sure it would actually work for the application you have in mind. You can paralyze your- self with analysis, but it pays to spend a week doing research to ensure a new technology will work." Internal conflicts can also be a problem for CEOs to overcome. These may revolve on how you're going to sell the product, how to properly develop it, or even the technology itself. There may be an ongo- ing debate between the CEO, the CFO, the CSO, or someone from regulatory affairs about what you can and can't say about a product. When you are ready to sell the compa- ny, you might also face struggles against your own team. One panelist heard sto- ries about these kinds of situations get- ting so heated that the board had to fire everybody, including the CEO, and start over. Certainly not the situation the founders had in mind. Issues might also arise when the CEO of the company is too close to the tech- nology. "That can be a problem," added a panelist. "I've worked for CEOs who knew a great deal about the science, and some who knew nothing about it at all. There are certainly pros and cons to it. I have found it is distracting if the CEO acts like a board member who throws out ideas all the time, and then goes out and talks to the junior staff and has them do what he says. It can be a difficult conversation when you go to team members and tell them to stop doing it. On the flip side, they can be well-qualified to make complex scien- tific arguments about why we should be doing something. If they don't have the experience of being a CEO, they just need to know when to back off." Finally, the panel recommends keeping in mind that the time to recoup your investment is much different in life sciences than in other industries. In technology you can start a company with a couple million, sell it in two years, and make a large profit. In this industry, the physics of science takes time. There is also an incredible regulatory burden, which one panelist noted is second only to the IRS in terms of intensity and the possibility of capricious decisions. "This is a process that simply can't be rushed," he notes. "You can make money in biotech, but realize you will have to be patient. I tell scientists and investors that if they want to get rich, they should become an investment banker. But if they want to do something that might change the world, the biotech industry is a great place to be." L You won't find out how good your team really is until things start to hit the fan. By E. Miseta EFFECTIVE SCALING STRATEGIES IN PHARMA

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Life Science Leader Magazine Supplements - CMO 2015