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June 19-20, 2014
Washington State
Convention Center
Seattle, WA

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Congratulations to the 2013 Women to Watch in Life Science!

LSINW 2013 Panelist and Presenter Interviews

1+1 = 3: The Power of Partnerships (July 11, 2013)

Recap by Simina Popa, University of Washington

This panel was moderated by Jennifer Dent (BIO Ventures for Global Health)

Panel Members

The panel discussed the benefits and approaches to forming partnerships between companies, governments, universities and non-profit foundations. Highlights and lessons of the panel included the following:

  • Seeking early input from partners helps companies understand their customers.
  • Moving a product from a university setting to industry is challenging, due to the different motivations of the involved parties. Organizations like the Center for Drug Research & Development Ventures can help establish and nurture these partnerships.
  • Global health funding has been decreasing; organizations like PATH need support to enable the translation of products and services to market.
  • Having non-profits (like PATH) work with the private sector to understand developing markets is important because implementation takes time.
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has created effective partnerships with non-profit organizations and universities to develop drugs needed in the developing world (e.g. for treating malaria, TB). Their additional objectives are to be more open with research data and be more flexible with their intellectual property.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provides support for research & development for early stage treatments/ vaccines; delivery development, including addressing concerns of manufacturers about selling products and finding loan space for manufacturing capacity.
  • Partnering with governments can help to reduce risk in the early stages of a new company by allowing more long-term planning. However, implementing this partnership is complicated, time consuming, and requires dedicated personnel.
  • Companies should consider seeking funding from China because China has capital and is looking for innovative technologies in which to invest. For example, a US company partnered with a company with Chinese rights and obtained funding from the Chinese government to develop a rotavirus vaccine for newborns.
  • Working with foreign governments requires patience and persistence because deals can take up to two years to navigate. Burrill & Company have set aside funds for interested parties to travel to China and establish business relations. 


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