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
Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University
Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences