Keynotes: Pharma Partnering & Investment World Asia

partnershipFollowing the Joint Plenary Session earlier, we’ll be drawing key insights and highlights from industry professionals such as Chae J. Lee, Cezary Statuch and Stephane Dhalluin who will be addressing the issues and challenges of Pharma Partnering in Asia.

Chae J. Lee, Vice President, Global Strategy and Corporate Development of Dong-A ST shares with us his key insights in exploring the various cross-border business models as a co-development strategy:

Dong-A has been the iconic Pharma brand for Korea over the past 80 years with an annual consolidated revenue of over 1 billion US Dollars with over 3,900 employees under its belt. The business portfolio for Dong-A stretches across ETC, OTC, energy drinks, consumer products, beverages, API, medical devices and etc.

Their impressive track record of successful partnerships with numerous Pharma companies from Japan, US, Europe among many others for in-out licensing . It’s worth mentioning that Korea is a fairly developed market compared to emerging markets and is facing quite a few challenges despite rapidly moving into the global standard phase.

Challenges faced by Dong-A range from having a limited knowledge of the local market, moving beyond the export model, evolving local regulations & policies and finding the right product fit for the local market with Chae J. Lee explaining that:

The Korean situtation has become very challenging in the past couple of years and we have been quickly moving on with outsourcing and working with Global CRO’s in unfamiliar territory.What we are working towards is to find out what is the right ‘product fit’ for global market commercial opportunities in the evolving landscape of Pharma.”

“Lately in Mongolia, regulations and policies over pharmaceuticals have been slightly lenient in terms of product distribution. In Cambodia, Dong-A managed to triumph over Redbull in a strategic partnership with Bacchus, an entrepreneur led energy drink business without having to invest in a big supplier due to low advertising costs.”

Cezary Statuch, Vice President, R&D, Bristol Myers-Squibb, China addressed the broad subject of partnerships and investments with strategies in overcoming R&D hurdles in China by elaborating on the China market:

“The unpredictability and ambiguity of China’s market requires specially tailored strategies which may be fundamentally different from global strategies. However, partnership should be seen as a solution to existing and emerging challenges. China’s environment, culture and politics is changing dramatically, so our knowledge of China’s market are extremely limited.”

“From my perspective, why would you partner with china? When you look at China’s 12th Five-year Plan, and if you look at the metrics where the government has set for themselves and how many innovative molecules they have to bring for the market, they will not be able to figure it out unless they partner with foreigners because there are truly not many innovative molecules in the Chinese market.”

The challenge remains in the hands of the next generation of BioPharma leaders and innovation leaders who have spent their time abroad in a different cultural setting and then moving back to China to speak a common language in terms of what matters in development, what is the definition of quality and what is important for patients.

Stephane Dhalluin, Director, Alliance Management, UCB Pharma, UK shares with us his thoughts regarding alliance management: “A Key Element to Facilitate Open Innovation Success in European Pharma R&D.”

“Drug discovery and development alliances can adopt many different geometries. They can be very simple partnerships and simple arrangements between two companies. You can have many different players and then you can have very complex geometries. You also can have very little inter-dependence high level of inter-dependence between the two partners. And these makes alliances very complicated to manage. There is a big advantage for companies to have a large alliance network but it is not without a significant amount of challenges”

“For example, the increase in diversity not only increase the odds of disruptive innovation but also increases the number of challenges. Hence, alliance management is the concept of managing diversity and differences especially when dealing with companies that have differentiating organizational structures, different mindsets, risk positions, cultural mindsets and not forgetting the management turnover that will happen during partnerships.”

As the Keynote session came to its closing minutes, I personally felt that these three speakers shared a similar perspective in the Asian Market which is to speak a common language amidst the myriad of sociopolitical and cultural influences that are hampering innovation and productivity.

More of this will be covered more in the highly interactive roundtable sessions in Asia’s Pharma partnering & investment. So stay tuned for the next post: Roundtable Sessions: Pharma Partnering & Investment in Southeast Asia.


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