Speaking today at the White Rose Bioscience Forum in York (Tuesday 31 October), Wallder told delegates:
“For early stage life science companies, building a successful management team is the ‘holy grail’. The best management can make ordinary technology fly, but poor management will very often result in companies with even the best technology either not achieving their full potential – or worse, failing miserably!”
Today's life science executives need a broader range of skills and competencies than ever before: raising funds, managing complex intellectual property and licensing issues and not least leading and managing their staff - all whilst aiming for realistic exit strategies for investors.
“Building successful management teams is about hiring the right people at the right time,” Wallder says. ”A great start-up CEO will not necessarily be the right person at the series B investment stage, or at trade sale or IPO.”
Wallder advises that the UK should try to emulate the US, where life science companies take a different view to management: “In the US, the mindset is different”, he explains. “It’s recognised that the skill set required throughout a company’s life will be different at specific stages, and because there are so few people with the necessary skills and experience to drive a company from start-up to plc, it is common practice for senior management to be replaced during the company’s progression.”
However, in the US this is not viewed as failure on the part of the outgoing management – it’s simply a pragmatic step that ensures the continued commercial health of the company. Says Wallder: “The management is seen as having effectively completed the job they were hired to do at that particular stage. The beauty of the US practice is that it frees up talented executives for other companies, who are at the stage where they could use their particular skills and experience.”
In the UK, the perception of success and failure is different, he says, an outgoing senior management can be seen in a negative light, rather than congratulated for successfully taking the company to its next stage.
“The UK practice of hiring a CEO and then expecting that person to be all things to all people at all stages is unrealistic. This is particularly so when the founding academic takes on the CEO role. It is the responsibility of the company board and its investors to allow senior management to play to their strengths but to recognise when new strengths are required. The company will be more attractive to investors in later funding rounds if this issue is addressed before approaches for funding are made,” he says.
Jo Kelly | alfa
Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH
Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences