A perfect match for Bayer HealthCare
A soccer club always needs to look for new players to rejuvenate the team and to take its success to the next level. In pharmaceutical research, new partners are just as essential for implementing new ideas and developing innovative medicines. Early Licensing colleagues at Bayer HealthCare are on the lookout for the perfect partners and projects.
Developing new innovative drugs that improve people’s lives is such a complex task that you cannot go it alone. Even as a top player in the market, Bayer HealthCare is always seeking to team up with others as the inspiration and resources for progress cannot exclusively come from within the company. Business Development and Licensing (BD&L) is always on the lookout not only for attractive external drug candidates, but also for products that are already on the market and companies that can complement Bayer HealthCare’s portfolio.
Early Licensing is the team in charge of finding these new partners – for instance biotech and other pharmaceutical companies, but also universities, business consultants and venture capitalists – with their promising drug candidates, services, technologies or resources that can help Bayer HealthCare’s research move forward.
Their manager Mark Wolters explains their work like this: "Imagine you're the manager of a soccer club and need to find some new players to strengthen your squad. They would include young talents to be developed internally into important players later. Early Licensing does something similar." The colleagues search all over the world for interesting projects and secure them for Bayer – to turn them into the stars of the future.
Contacts are king
"Networking is the basis of our success," says Wolters. "We keep in contact with our cooperation partners, in some cases for years.” These partners already amount to over 5,000. And the number keeps rising: Partnering conferences, for instance, are a great way to make a lot of contacts in a short time. "It's like speed dating for businesses," Wolters explains. The companies each have 30 minutes to present their projects. With ten such conferences taking place every year, you can hold conversations with a total of 500 individual people – and gain an overview of scientific trends and new inventions.
"We look at about 1,000 license offers a year, although we only follow up about ten percent of them: the ones that fit best into our business and look promising to us," adds Wolter. And after extensive negotiations, contracts are again only signed on ten percent of these selected offers. After all, there are not so many perfect partners – just like there are only a few really promising young soccer talents.
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