What is the involvement of Project Management Office in the portfolio management?

Project management office, in my view, has one of the most crucial roles in the process of portfolio selection and portfolio management, and in Polpharma biologics we are committed to this. The main responsibility of PMO, in the process of selecting future development targets, is to align the priorities and timelines with already ongoing projects. Main challenge always is to manage wishes and expectations from the marketing department and to align actual possibilities developing multiple projects and products in parallel. PMO also acts as sounding board or spearing partner to the marketing and portfolio team. However the majority of companies as well as Polpharma biologics are acting –on two fields, as own internal developer and as a one stop shop CMO. This brings the next level of complexity which it affects priorities and consequently it demands from the team high level of commitment to manage and overcome all the
challenges without jeopardizing internal and especially external projects. This complexity also needs to be part of the internal portfolio management process, as it can have substantial effects. In order to de-risk this frequent portfolio review, meetings need to take place. However, the aim of those is not to change and shape portfolio every quarter, but to decide, discuss and align priorities across departments and across projects.

What portfolio management processes have been set up at Polpharma Biologics?

In Polpharma biologics we implemented a process of portfolio selection and review. Selection is mainly driven by the market data, timelines, complexity of the product and internal availability of resources. Key in decision making is being able to sacrifice one product that might be the right fit at that moment for a different one that has higher probability of success and does not distract the whole organization, when it comes to planning resources. Having looking forward, the approach has to be the main strength of the portfolio review team. This is very important in business where Polpharma is acting as own biosimilar and biologics developer. We don’t want to be one of many developing a certain target, our aim is to be one of few and best one in class.

Could you briefly explain how can companies improve product selection, build value and mitigate risks associated?
The main challenge always observed in companies is how to decide in the future portfolio and priorities, as multiple projects are competing for same resources. Biggest question is how to stagger work, what to delay and which activities to speed up in order to maximize the value. This is very important in the business model of out licensing the projects or doing a co-development work. In Polpharma biologics we are present in both modes, so decision on the product, with product connected risks and at the end its value are base of our business. Portfolio review team has a critical task to define selection criteria which cover different aspects of the project/product. Next step is to decide on the overall weight of these criteria as certain factors have more influence than others. This might be differently implemented from company to company; therefore also evaluation of possible in/out licensing projects might be different. Last step is risk evaluation and mitigation strategy assessment. Already early in development project cycle, even on the stage of portfolio selection, team can assess most probable risks and their impact on the project timelines and at the end value.

What would you like to achieve by attending the 2nd Annual Portfolio Management Strategies for Generics and Biosimilars Conference?

I would like to share knowledge gained in setting up the Project management office and the things we have implemented in Polpharma biologics to bring the PMs and PMO to level in which the internal and external stakeholders are feeling confident in our abilities to lead the projects. As one stop shop CMO, offering high quality services in the production of biological drugs, Polpharma biologics project management team is also committed to support clients and act as a bridge between external and internal teams.


Ahead of the 2nd Annual Portfolio Management Strategies for Generics and Biosimilars Conference, we spoke with Klemen Spaninger, Global Head of Project Management and Member of the Management Team Polpharma Biologic about the involvement of Project Management Office in the portfolio management and how companies can improve product selection.

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Previous Attendees Include:
Abbott Laboratories
Biogen Idec
BNP Paribas
Eli Lilly



About the Conference:

At this marcus evans conference, the main generics and biosimilars players will discuss the challenges and the promises of affordable drugs development: from the selection and assessment to the launch cycle; looking at the regulatory and patent specificities as well as the ongoing alignment to policies, insurance and healthcare decisions. Companies are pushed to redefine their internal strategy and organization to be able to perform in different markets and adapt with agility to rapid changes and new opportunities. The 2nd Annual Portfolio Management Strategies for Generics and Biosimilars Conference will take place from the 25th to 27th of September 2017 in Amsterdam.

Copyright © 2017 Marcus Evans. All rights reserved.

Practical Insights From:


Fresenius Kabi

Interpharm Consultancy

Lupin Atlantis Holdings SA


Polpharma Biologic

Sandoz Germany

Teva Pharmaceuticals

Xantis Pharma AG


About the speaker:

Since 2016 Klemen Spaninger is a Global head of project management and member of Polpharma biologics management team. Before worked in several positions in Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals, started as Technical project leader in TechOps, followed by being a Head of Analytical Laboratories Drug Product, where he was leading team of 23+ people. In the end he was Global program manager, for Sandoz biosimilars, leading cross functional global international teams and be responsible for the management of clinical/ commercial global programs of biosimilar biologics including for strategy planning.


What is the involvement of Project Management Office in the portfolio management?




An interview with Global Head of Project Management and Member of the Management Team Polpharma Biologic

Klemen Spaninger, Global Head of Project Management at Polpharma Biologic

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