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Alliance Management is often considered as a launch pad for accessing other job positions in different departments, do you believe this trend is changing?

Due to the increasing scope and complexity of the alliances in our industry, the alliance capability of an organisation will become even more business critical in the future. Therefore, individual alliance capability development will likely be considered as a building block of career development. It also makes sense to get talents deeply involved into alliance management, and when they move on thereby distribute to gained experience into the organisation. However, this model also requires organisations to maintain and continuously develop the alliance capability within a core team of dedicated alliance specialists, because in the end they act as coaches and trainers in addition to taking care of the most important and complex strategic alliances. 

The increasing complexity of alliances is a fact. Today, Pharma Alliances go beyond the conventional Pharma-Pharma partnerships. How is this complexity affecting AM and how AM can assist with these unorthodox partnerships?

In addition to new, previously unlikely partners from other industries, e.g., digital technology companies who might think differently and move at a different speed compared to a pharma company, the complexity of alliances will also increase due to new types of partnerships. While in the past it was sometimes considered challenging to work with a single partner, today many organisations are moving towards alliances involving several partners, or away from the hub-and-spoke unilateral interaction model to alliance networks, encouraging interaction between several alliance members. This certainly means that organisations in our industry will have to continue to invest into alliance capability development if they don't want to fall behind. Alliance management will continue to play a key role being deeply involved in these highly complex partnerships. At the same time alliance team members will have to be enabled as well, and it will not be enough to rely on alliance management alone. The higher the complexity of the alliance, the higher the alliance capability of all people involved must be in order to maximize the probability of alliance success. Ways to address this include trainings for alliance members in various stages of their engagement in an alliance and coaching of alliance teams. 

As alliances where managed without a specialised department in the past, the role of AM in an enterprise is sometimes seen as dispensable. What are the best methods to demonstrate the value that AM brings?

As any other part of an organisation naturally also alliance management needs to justify its existence and funding. Generally, it might be a good idea to focus the attention of alliance management on time points within the alliance lifecycle that are decisive regarding the value created. For example, it can make a significant difference if the alliance capability of potential partners was already evaluated and considered during the selection process, as failure to do so might lead to increased management effort and suboptimal outcomes. Another aspect is alliance portfolio analysis and management. The question if an organisation spends their resources on the right alliances for maximum impact and how to optimize these investments, can be decisive for the success of an organisation as a whole. These activities create value that can certainly be demonstrated, next to the impact of alliance capability development mentioned earlier. 

The organisational set-up greatly influences the performance of alliance management. Which is the structural model that you believe provides the best outcome for AM?

That very much depends on the complexity of the organization and the priorities when it comes to alliance management. For example, a strictly centralized alliance management organization encourages quality standard implementation and maintenance, while a very decentralized alliance management organisation will have a deeper understanding of the culture and value drivers of the parts of the business or organisation it is embedded in. At Bayer, a rather complex organisation with several different businesses, in order to get some of the best of both extremes, we use a mixed model consisting of several alliance management core teams embedded in various parts of the organisation, but connected by a growing alliance community effort. In this community we discuss alliance management related topics of interest across the different functions and businesses, learn from each other's different perspectives of alliance management and share best practices and resources. 

What would you like to achieve by attending the 9th Annual Strategic Alliance Management for Pharma Conference?

As mentioned before, developing the alliance capability of an organization is critical for the future. This well-established conference is a very good opportunity to exchange and test ideas regarding the further development of alliance management, and to engage in the European alliance management community in our industry. 

About the Conference:

Despite the relative novelty of the Alliance Management role, it has become an indispensable ingredient of the recipe to success in the Pharma industry. In a time in which conventional business strategies are far from being enough, it is of the utmost importance to create alliances not only at all stages in the development of a product but to upgrade the internal structure of the organisation.

This 9th annual marcus evans event will enable participants to actively engage in real cases brought to life, to discuss how to find the Holly Grail to measure the impact of such an underestimated role, enhance the internal communications, face unequal powers in complex alliances or grasp diverse and unconventional models of partnerships.

To view the Conference Agenda, click HERE!

Copyright © 2019 Marcus Evans. All rights reserved.

About the speaker:

Christoph Huwe has more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry in different roles at Bayer (Germany), Berlex Biosciences (USA) and Schering AG (Germany).

He has been responsible for alliances and consortia in Europe, the US and China for more than 10 years, covering various therapeutic areas.

He is also a founding member of Bayer's Alliance Community Excellence team focussing on alliance management capability development, and has served as member of the Pharma Industry Benchmarking Forum and the EFPIA Industry Liaison Group. 

The Future of Alliance Management

An interview with Christoph Huwe from Bayer AG Pharmaceuticals

Speakers Include: 
  • Almirall 
  • Cancer Research UK 
  • GSK 
  • Immunocore 
  • LEO Pharma 
  • LifeArc 
  • Merck KGaA 
  • Mundipharma 
  • Norgine 
  • Pierre Fabre 
  • Sanofi  
  • Theravance Biopharma 
  • Vectura Limited 
Previous Attendees Include:
  • Abbott Bioresearch Centre
  • AstraZeneca 
  • Biogen Idec 
  • Boehringer Ingelheim 
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb 
  • Daiichi Sankyo Group 
  • Eli Lilly 
  • Genentech 
  • GlaxoSmithKline 
  • Janssen Pharmaceutical 
  • Johnson & Johnson 
  • Merck & Co 
  • Novartis Pharma AG 
  • Pfizer 
  • Roche Biologics 
  • Sanofi-aventis 
  • Shire Pharmaceutical 
  • Unilever 

For more information, please contact: Yiota Andreou

Christoph Huwe, Ph.D., CSAP, Strategic Alliance Manager Therapeutics, Bayer AG Pharmaceuticals

Ahead of the 9th Annual Strategic Alliance Management for Pharma  Conference , we spoke with Christoph Huwe, Ph.D., CSAP, Strategic Alliance Manager Therapeutics, Bayer AG Pharmaceuticals about the increasing complexity of alliances and the best methods to demonstrate the value that AM brings.

To view the Conference Agenda, click HERE!

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