Nigel Sheail: Partnering for innovative healthcare solutions
20.11.2012 - Partnering and even open innovation is becoming increasingly important for our industry in a world where health systems are undergoing profound transformations.
As the global population has grown above seven billion, emerging markets have become major markets. Mature markets around the world are aging. These factors and others are giving rise to greater medical need at a time when many health systems are reaching their financial limits. One key to addressing these challenges is innovation – both internal and external.
In this context, partnering plays an important role. At Bayer HealthCare, we are committed to research & development in areas with high medical needs like oncology, cardiology, gynecological therapies, hematology and ophthalmology. Our partnering activities are also addressing both regional and local business needs, and we are constantly looking for new collaborations with academia, pharma and companies in the biotechnology field across all phases of the value chain to combine the innovative science of our partners with our drug discovery activities, our development experience and our marketing expertise worldwide.
Today, we are well-positioned, with a strong portfolio of innovative products and an outstanding pipeline of new developments. However, to add more value for physicians and patients, our company is seeking to think beyond the scope of individual products and increasingly develop healthcare solutions. In the cardiovascular area, for example, such solutions could start with prevention, encompass diagnosis and treatment where disease does occur, and also protect against recurrence – a truly comprehensive approach to heart health. Following the idea of developing innovative solutions, as well as individual products, our business deve-
lopment organisation brings together colleagues from Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Care, Medical Care, and Animal Health divisions.
One of the unexpected benefits of the tight financing environment over the last few years is that companies are forced to collaborate early on in the drug-discovery and development process. This may allow the next generation of molecules to benefit from ‘collaborative advantages’ – bringing together the science and experience of organizations for mutual benefit, and ultimately increasing the chance of developing new therapies that will have an impact. These days, more than 80% of Bayer HealthCare meetings at partnering conferences deal with pre-clinical opportunities.
Our company is open to all types of collaborations, but prefers structures that allow both partners a seat at the table and real input to ensure the best decisions are made for the programs. We want to work with strong partners that thrive independently, and ideally will bring multiple opportunities to the table. We also recognize the need to meet the needs of investors who will need successful exits if they are to have confidence to reinvest in healthcare innovation
The growing importance of collaborations in our industry is also nicely reflected by the demand for, and increasing number of, partnering events worldwide. Events like the upcoming Bio-Europe offer excellent opportunities, both to catch up with companies we already know and to meet new companies or academic institutions at an early stage of their development.
Nigel Sheail, has been a member of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee and Head of Global Business Development & Licensing since November of 2011. The biologist (BSc, University of Edinburgh) began his professional career in the pharmaceuticals industry in 1990 at GlaxoSmithKline, before transferring to F.Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. in 1993. There he held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility in both the firm’s finance and research organisations. Prior to joining Bayer HealthCare, Sheail was Head of Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions and Head of Global Pharma Licensing at F.Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. in Basel.