Biopharma companies are founded on ideas and innovative thinking—often started
by a group of scientists or entrepreneurs with a common purpose and vision. As
a small organization starting up with a new molecule or a new technology, there
are less resources available and only the bare minimum of functional capabilities.
Thinking out of the box is often a necessity to accomplish all that needs to be
done in order to take the innovative ideas and make them a reality.
Keeping Biopharma Innovative
Some case studies in how to grow and still
nurture a corporate culture open to new ideas
By Nina Wachsman, President and Founder, Augur Health LLC and
Gerald Mosely, PhD, Founder and Principal, CP&P Development Group
As a company grows, products and capabilities are added, and there is a need to scale up
people, processes and structure. This transition raises the risk of losing sight of the founding vision and spirit. A lack of clarity and direction, increased dysfunction and general
organizational malaise are potential consequences of this bureaucratic transformation.
“Innovation has always been one of our values. It was obvious in the beginning. As you grow you may lose the sense
of purpose you had in start-up mode. You have to build the
company, get the drug throughFDA, face competitors,and
satisfy multiple stakeholders.Things get more complicated,
and you can get more mired in the day-to-day.”
Bill Fairey, President, Actelion Pharmaceuticals US
Many companies try to “import” innovative thinking by bringing in consultants, experts,
and agencies or looking to outside companies to help them with their efforts.
In 2000, Target was just another discount retailer when they approached their ad
agency, Kirshenbaum & Bond, to help them build an image as an upscale, trendy retailer to a target urbane audience that was not aware of or did not even think of Target
as fashionable. Target was willing to make the commitment to a totally new way of