Pit or peak: Why your partnering strategy should not be market dependent

When it comes to best practices for partnering, experts at BIO 2024 said companies should not change their collaboration strategy to fit market conditions.

Millie Nelson, Editor

June 24, 2024

2 Min Read

The Life Science Industry often hails partnerships as a critical component to achieving success across all stages of drug development and distribution. However, partnerships are not exempt from feeling the ramifications of the financial market.

Experts at BIO 2024 in San Diego, California shared their insights on the best ways to navigate deal-making in a “choppy” market. Joseph Baroldi, executive vice president and chief business officer of RNA-focused Ionis Pharmaceuticals, told delegates he thinks “of a choppy market being when it is down [like it is] right now and then also when it is at its peak.”

The ebb and flow of the market can propel leaders to change their partnership strategy, but Baroldi said your “strategy should not change whether you are in an up market or a down market.”

Barbara Kosacz, COO of clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm Kronos Bio, echoed Baroldi’s sentiments, telling delegates: “You want to have a steady and consistent strategy.”

However, while she agreed consistency is an integral part of deal-making, she added that she would “put an asterisk on that [because] you can have a strategy but if the logistics are not there, then you are kind of screwed.”

Additionally, Kosacz warned attendees about the dangers of business development focused workers driving “while looking in the rearview mirror.” She suggested members of the audience “might have a board of people who will tell you about all of the deals that have done well in the past,” but this becomes meaningless as “you have to understand the conditions you are actually working in.”

Stacy Feld, regional head of venture group Johnson & Johnson Innovation, said it is “looking at making strategic investments and partnerships regardless of where the macro is” but as “a large company, we also need to maintain a consistent approach.”

Additionally, she said companies can position themselves strategically “when the financial markets are not as sunny.” For example, firms should have a strong IP portfolio, a reason why they have decided to develop transformational therapies, and the ability to create visibility through pitches.

Another element of the panel discussion raised by Kosacz concerned the art of being realistic. When it comes to deal-making, “there is the deal you want to do, and the deal you can go and get done.” While she said, “it is a complicated ship we are dealing with” and “election year is always tough,” the panel maintained a level of optimism surrounding deal-making in the sector.

Baroldi commented “public markets are pretty tight, but the private markets seem pretty open if you have a good idea. I think partnering is very much alive and active and things are kind of getting back to normal.”

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

You May Also Like