Reinventing Roche’s Pipeline




Episode Loading...




PharmaTelevision requires Javascript enabled and Adobe Flash Player to watch our programmes. If you do not have Flash installed, you can download it for free from the Adobe Flash homepage.

Improve your Internet experience and start watching exciting new video content.

Video title: Reinventing Roche’s Pipeline
Released on: April 14, 2009. © PharmaVentures Ltd
Share/save this page:
Email
Bookmark
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Follow us:
RSS
Twitter
  • Summary
  • Transcript
  • Participants
  • Company
Despite the current economic climate, Roche’s fundamental strategy has remained the same and, as with many major pharmaceutical companies, their focus is still their pipeline. Andrew Jefferson, interviewed at the recent BioTrinity conference, discusses how his role as Head of Strategic Evaluations fits in with the many different activities of Roche’s Pharma Partnering team. His involvement with many of this group’s deals and partnerships enables him to address issues such as ‘Can you do too many deals?’, ‘Is Roche’s partnering strategy scalable?’ and ‘What makes Roche decide to enter into M&A?’
Andrew Jefferson, role as Global Head of Strategic Evaluations Roche and how it fits in with the many different activities of Roche's Pharma Partnering team.
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaVentures Business review here at BioTrinity in Oxford. On this show I have Andrew Jefferson who is Global head of strategic evaluations at Roche. Welcome to the show.
Andrew Jefferson:
Thank you Fintan and thanks for the invite and it's a particular pleasure to be here at Oxford as well home of science.
Fintan Walton:
Good, good. I want to understand your specific role within the Roche Group?
Andrew Jefferson:
Alright, I work in I work for Roche Pharma partnering and is the Pharma partnering organization is Roche's pharmaceutical business development function. So we're a function of about 80 people and then we have a process that we look that we call (indiscernable) find get and manage and I guess I'm in the " the find and get part so I head a team strategic evaluation team that's the team that does the business assessment for partnering opportunities and also does some project leadership for M&A transactions.
Fintan Walton:
So, so how do you then operate with the other parts of the partnering group?
Andrew Jefferson:
We have a matrix structure so we have other people in the organization who particularly focus on the science and leading projects through so we have DBA leaders, disease biology area leaders, have a leader for each of our focus areas so we focus on oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS diseases. So we have scientific experts and then as we assess and choose to move forward with an opportunity then we also involve other people in the process, so that's when some of my team would become involved looking at the business side because we gonna be looking at assessing opportunities both from the scientific, strategic fits and business, business assessment. And then of course we have other people in pharma partnering who run Due Diligence an important function of alliance directors and then lawyers negotiate just to conclude the transaction.
Fintan Walton:
So, do you actually feed into the valuation, you are in the evaluation but you feed data information and how about the underlying assumptions for a value to into here?
Andrew Jefferson:
So you know if we're looking a an inlicensing opportunity people in the team will be working closely with the scientific assessments so look at what's the target product profile for an opportunity and then how to sub translate into commercial values, so sales forecasting and financial analysis so you know how does the " how does the financials of the deal work.
Opportunities in current environment.
Fintan Walton:
Right, so with the current economic climate obviously we're in new times, has your role changed?
Andrew Jefferson:
I think for Roche our job is still the same though you know we are in an industry of is continuingly looking to reinvent its pipeline. We have patent expiries you know every company is facing patent expiries some sooner or later. But you know our job is really to make sure that the Roche pipeline is kept filled. It's kept filled with innovative medicines that real make a difference to patients.
Fintan Walton:
Right.
Andrew Jefferson:
And so that's our job and that the economic times you know I think certainly challenging times at the moment, but I think our fundamental roles remains the same.
Fintan Walton:
Right, but it is " have opportunities changed in this environment? are you seeing different types of opportunities and have they, are they much more let's say maybe the more distressed opportunities?
Andrew Jefferson:
Certainly, you know I think we see lots of different things, I think where we still see some very high quality assets and we are certainly very keen to look for high quality differentiated medicines first-in-class, best-in-class products. I think perhaps we are also seeing now is some companies who in the past may have take " may have chosen to progress assets further along to the next value inflection they may be look coming to us earlier now and say we are interested in partnering some of our assets at an earlier stage.
Fintan Walton:
So when we look at the types of deals you are doing now, let's say compared to two or three years ago are we seeing the " the deal structures themselves changing to accommodate for the " may be the position of the biotech company?
Andrew Jefferson:
Yeah, yeah. I think the Roche philosophy on partnering is really to place the product at the centre of the deal and so when we're assessing a new product opportunity we will be saying what makes most sense for this product, how can we get this to the market and then we also look at the partner, we look at the Roche organization say and how can we contribute? and so you know certainly that's going to be a dialog through any partnering process to say what contribution can the partner make and what contribution can Roche make. So I think something that we really pride ourselves and our approach to partnering is giving the partner seats at the Roche table. And I think that, you know when we do partner-- the biotech company this has been an incredible important compound for them they know a lot about that compound and we wanna make sure that we can " we can capitalize on that and that is in our shared interest to maximize the developments of the products and get it to market as quickly as possible.
Recent deals by Roche.
Fintan Walton:
Alright, so " and may be some of the viewers or investors in biotech technology companies and they may be looking for an exit, are you " are you likely to shift towards an M&A deal because of the shareholder interest of the company you are trying to partner with?
Andrew Jefferson:
I think you know the " the management, the investor view of all that have taken to achieve in a deal is of course extremely important and that's will be one of the elements that we look at. I think, so yes, you know, we are gonna be responsive to the other side.
Fintan Walton:
Right, but if we have a situation where there is now probably going forward a number of distressed companies, particular distressed biotech companies, we forecast that " that will happen during the year of 2009. Are you likely to then have end up with too many opportunities?
Andrew Jefferson:
You know, I guess we can never have too many opportunities because we know we are a large company we are really aggressively seeking new partnering opportunities, I think last year was a record year for us we did 60 deals and so you know we are hoping to - to achieve the similar number this year. So I think, yes we are aggressively looking to partner. I think but we are gonna see differences this year due to the environment but I think the sorts of deals that we enter into there we gonna find the partner companies were looking for different things and so you know we'll consider alongside in licensing, we'll consider all sorts of different deal structures you know we certainly seem some of that in the past and I think it's an examples that you know we have a deal with Alnylam [PharmaDeals ID = 27682] certainly not a distressed company, but you know I think is just can be an example of creative deals. And when we entered into a deal with Alnylam this was for RNAi technology. Roche gave access on an non-exclusive basis to the Alnylam " Alnylam Technology in a number of therapy areas. But in addition to that we acquired one of the sites in Kulmback in Germany and so this site became - has become a Roche centre for RNA, RNAi. I think this was real win, win deal for Alnylam and for Roche because this gave us access to the technology, a centre of excellence but also it gave Alnylam some financial flexibility to be able to invest in their own programs. So I think we gonna start to see more creative deals like that and I think you know, we can talk about some others as well.
Alliance management strategy of Roche.
Fintan Walton:
So, you're talking about relationships there so obviously very important as you mentioned is the alliance management component to doing deals and in the past we've learnt about the alliance management system at Roche. But again you know that the relationships that you are having with companies today may be different and " and is that now really more important to get alliance management correct, because obviously as your partner companies probably go through new challenges, does alliance management come even more important there for Roche?
Andrew Jefferson:
I think alliance management is absolutely core to Roche. I think we're one of the first companies, if not the first company to appointment an alliance manager to our deals and we will certainly appoint an alliance manager to each of our deals that we conclude. And I think in our business development we are in a really long-term process so this isn't about " this isn't concluded on the day we sign the deal. This is about getting drugs to the market and so we would always appoint an alliance manager, the point of going to Due Diligence and we'll " we'll get an alliance manager involved, so they become part of the Roche team through the Due Diligence process. They start to really understand the program, they build the relationships with the partner company. And so when we sign the deal we are ready to move and that time is incredibly important in our business. It's important to on consummating a deal to be able to appoint project teams and move forward really quickly. I think you know the role of the alliance manager through the deal process is also to make sure that we have alignments of our own the future product development and so that's something that we pay very close attention to " to make sure that we have good alignment before we sign the deal. But this is really a long-term business, things change and so I think having an alliance manager on board who is not you know necessarily in the Real Nitty Gritty of the project but he is able to take a bigger view of the alliance and to make sure there are no communication issues developing is really critical so we feel alliance management as an absolutely core function and the core competence of Roche.
Fintan Walton:
So in the end kind a company like Roche end up doing to many deals?
Andrew Jefferson:
I think it's important to be able to focus on the deals that we have. I think Roche has a very large team. We have a team of about 14 alliance managers and we have a partnership with about 100 companies. And I think that we feel that we really have staffed up in order to cope with the number of alliances that we have, and in extent we are committed with " committed to, and so Roche will continue to and to have the sufficient staffing in order to support its deal making capacity.
Fintan Walton:
Is that a scalable operation in other words. Is this something that you can really scale up to possibly 200, 300 alliances?
Andrew Jefferson:
I guess we don't feel that we've actually got close to the " to the problem of scale yet, we are -- we really are confident that the -- you know the internal commitment that we have to partnering means that we will have a sufficient staff in order to, to manage the alliance network that we have. And I think that you know partnering is really up the core of " of Roche's innovation network, and that's something that we have an absolute commitment too. we have a great track record. And I think, you know we see that through the repeat deals that we have done with partners and so I think we are finding the -- our partners, are keen to partner with us again and so we don't feel that we come close to a " to a scale issue yet.
Landscape of the future
Fintan Walton:
So Andrewjust one final question. When you look as Roche looks forward into the futures we end 2009 into this new landscape, what do you see that landscape looking like in the future?
Andrew Jefferson:
I think it's " you know certainly a challenging time economically and it's a competitive time in business development. I think for Roche though it's really about focusing on partnership and showing that we create value, and I think we are going to continue to be successful by showing the value we share with our partners and I think partnership is really out core of the Roche innovation strategy and so by focusing on that, working with our partners they " they are gonna continue to see Roche as a preferred partner.
Fintan Walton:
Okay, well thank you very much indeed Andrew for coming on the show. Thank you very much.
Andrew Jefferson:
Thank you very much.
Andrew Jefferson
Global Head of Strategic Evaluations
Andrew Jefferson is the Global Head of Strategic Evaluations within Roche Pharma Partnering based in Basel Switzerland. Andrew leads a team which is responsible for the business assessment of partnering opportunities and project leadership for M &A transactions in line with Roche's global strategy. Andrew has spent nearly 8 years in business assessment, scouting and evaluation having previously held roles as Global Head Surveillance, Analysis and Valuation and Business Development Director within the Acquisitions and Strategic Alliances department of Pharma Partnering. Appointed in 2000 as Business Analyst for the Xenical International Business team, Andrew transferred to the Pharma Partnering in-licensing team in 2001. Prior to joining Roche, Andrew was at Novartis, UK were he held roles in both manufacturing and marketing functions. Andrew gained his MBA from The University of Brighton and has a first class honours degree in Chemistry from The University of Nottingham.
Roche
Roche As a research-focused healthcare company, Roche discovers, develops and provides innovative diagnostic and therapeuticproducts and services that deliver significant benefits to patients and healthcare professionals " from early detection and prevention of diseases to diagnosis, treatment, and treatment monitoring. Roche employs over about 80,000 people and sells its products in over 150 countries. The company was founded on October 1st, 1896. The founder, Fritz Hoffmann-La Roche, was among the first to recognize that the industrial manufacture of standardized medicines would be a major advance in the fight against disease. From the very beginning, Roche's visionary founder focused his company on innovation and on establishing an international presence. Today Roche ranks among the world's leading healthcare companies and has two strong core businesses: diagnostics and pharmaceuticals.