BOX 6-1

Managing Strategic Alliances, Licensing, and Intellectual Property: Company, Foundation, and University Perspectives

VERTEX PHARMACEUTICALS

Founded in 1989 by current Chairman, President, and CEO Joshua Boger, Ph.D, Vertex has more than 1,200 employees across three research and development sites in Cambridge, Massachusetts; San Diego, California; and Oxford, United Kingdom.


Goals

  • To build a major drug company through the development and commercialization of both Vertex-driven products and products developed in collaboration with major pharmaceutical companies.

  • To identify more efficiently promising drug candidates that address significant unmet medical needs.

Lessons Learned for Alliance Partners

Coordinating partner (customer)

  • Provide intellectual incentives for partner.

  • Avoid harsh or inappropriate acquisitiveness.

  • Listen, and welcome new ideas or approaches.

  • Be patient, and expect to walk before running.

  • Explicitly define (and quantify) any dissatisfactions.

  • Do not assume anything about the partner.

  • Find the right balance of parallel and serial actions.

  • Meet the partner team and maximize face-to-face communications.

  • Be aware that sometimes it really is best to let partners do it their way.

Executing partner (vendor)

  • Allow no internal commercial conflicts.

  • Solve operational problems with confidence.

  • Communicate troubleshooting strategies.

  • Strive to demonstrate wise independence.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions.

  • Don’t be afraid to suggest changes or innovations.

  • Remember execution problems are yours to solve.

  • Constantly inquire to recalibrate partner priorities.

  • Listen for when partners really must have it done their way.

Cross-cutting

  • Be honest and aware of your own strengths and weaknesses.

  • Understand your partner’s culture and personality.

  • Adapt your communication style to the partner’s personality.

  • Define roles and metrics of success clearly and explicitly.

http://www.vpharm.com



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