Consider a fully-integrated pharmaceutical company, with a complete value chain running from Preclinical drug discovery all the way to commercialization, sales, and marketing.
In this model, business development teams are typically towards the right (commercial) end of the value chain. Feedback from upstream scientific or clinical personnel is common, and some companies have excellent processes in place in which this feedback is obtained in an organized manner, without excessive disruption of their day-to-day tasks.
We believe that these same upstream Preclinical and Clinical personnel can also serve as excellent in-licensing or acquisition scouts. This is because many of them attend numerous technical and scientific conferences. They also network and interact with scientific and clinical colleagues online via networks such as LinkedIn, Academia.edu, Quora.com, and others.
These interactions can result in the identification of interesting opportunities, but only if our preclinical and clinical “scouts” are sensitized and are fully aware of the companies overall BD&L strategy and wish list.
We are not suggesting that this pseudo-scouting activity needs to occupy excessive amounts of time. However, attendance at conferences and online networking can yield opportunities that traditional BD&L executives attending traditional business development conferences such as BIO will simply not uncover. But how can this be accomplished?
External firms can assist in summarizing and communicating the corporate BD&L strategy to upstream technical and clinical colleagues. Accompanying this communication could be a process for processing ideas and opportunities identified by our new BD&L scouts.
Second, external firms can also help companies organize their internal communications in order to prevent inefficiencies from creeping in.