2021 Annual Report: CEO Geoff MacKay on how gene therapy’s promise propels us forward

2021 challenged us all in many ways. As successive waves of SARS-CoV2 variants swept around the globe, we saw a monumental scientific achievement in our industry – the development and distribution of a completely new vaccine – accompanied by various failures and missteps that undermined progress against the pandemic. It was an imperfect and at […]

The CMO Dating Game: Gene Therapy Edition

With hundreds of gene therapies currently in clinical trials, the demand for manufacturing has exploded in just a few years. Biotech sponsors looking for contract manufacturing organization (CMO) partners face a difficult challenge, as bigger players compete for resources and consolidation reduces the number of prospects. So how do you find the right CMO for […]

“Commercial” is not a dirty word: Why all biotech companies need a strong commercial mindset from the earliest stages

Does commercialization strategy matter when you are years from having a commercial product? In my experience in biotech, the answer is a resounding yes. Biotech is an industry that has a high rate of failure — 90 percent of drug candidates do not get approval.  Even if approval comes, a study by Deloitte Center for Health Solutions […]

Mind your manners: The lost art of etiquette in business negotiations

It’s tempting to think that the first skill you need to learn in business development is negotiating. That’s important, of course, but it should not be your first stop. Business development, at its core, is all about building relationships. And while that may sound simple, I’ve seen many up-and-comers stumble because they fail to understand […]

You want to be a CBO? Four tips to set you on your way

Most of the titles in a biotech C-suite are generally self-explanatory. The Chief Technical and Manufacturing Officer runs operations in CMC and analytics. The Chief Financial Officer handles financial strategy and investor relations. The Chief Commercial Officer prepares for bringing investigational therapies to market. Then there’s the title I hold: Chief Business Officer (CBO). This […]

Negotiating 101: Gaining leverage – and using it wisely

In a recent blog post, I walked through my tips for reading your adversaries’ body language while maintaining your own poker face throughout negotiations. In this second post, I’ll share practical tactics for gaining leverage and using it wisely. Women of biotech, there’s also a special section for you – so read on! Be prepared […]

A recipe for managing data disclosure successfully with academic partners: A public gene therapy company perspective

When AVROBIO went public in June 2018, I found myself on the steep end of an unexpected but interesting learning curve regarding data disclosure. I had spent years leading Shire’s business development team, so I was well-versed in the regulatory requirements for public companies. However, I suddenly had to reckon with the complexities that ensued […]