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BioMS secures largest-ever Canadian biotech partnership

How a biotech company leveraged relationships to help bring key new drug to market

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Abstract

BioMS Medical Corp. is a small biotech company with a big opportunity. The Edmonton firm is focused on bringing groundbreaking multiple sclerosis (MS) treatments to market. Its lead technology, a compound known as MBP8298, is currently undergoing global late-stage human clinical trials, including the world’s only phase III trial for secondary progressive MS.

But revolutionary technology often isn’t enough. Jeremy Webster, a  Financial Advisory  partner with Deloitte’s  Life Sciences  team, says BioMS was typical of small biotech firms. It needed substantial resources to fund lengthy clinical trials and bring the resulting therapies to market.

“BioMS knew it could further its goals by attracting a large pharma partner,” says Webster. “But that’s a challenge when you’re barely on their radar. BioMS needed an advisor with contacts, credibility and global reach.” Clinical trials take time, money and experience Bringing a new drug to market is monumentally expensive, time-consuming and complex. BioMS simply didn’t have the resources to fund the multi-phased clinical trials on its own. In addition, BioMS had never taken a product all the way to market. President and CEO Kevin Giese turned to his firm’s longstanding relationship with Deloitte.

“We already had a great working relationship with Deloitte,” says Giese. “Their passion for bringing everything to the table and for leveraging their internal and external relationships made it easy to choose the Deloitte team.”

Deloitte’s approach: Identify and comprehensively engage potential partners Leveraging a multi-tiered strategy, Deloitte assisted BioMS by:

  1. Providing strategic advice on potential partners, ideal go-to-market timing, and best practices for initiating, negotiating and closing partnerships
  2. Setting up introductions and meetings with numerous potential partners
  3. Designing and orchestrating the partnering process from initial presentations to data room set-up for stage-one and stage-two diligence reviews
  4. Coordinating both due diligence stages by identifying partners and obtaining letters of intent during the first stage, and providing full diligence in the second
  5. Analyzing and comparing the financial, operational, strategic and overall terms of the competing deals
  6. Participating directly in partnership negotiations, providing financial and deal structuring advice and closing the transaction
  7. Working directly with the independent committee of the board of directors to assess each transaction’s fairness and provide net present value analysis. Deloitte’s team built a framework for comparing the letters of intent, and subsequently ranked the potential partners based on their qualitative, relationship, strategic and financial components

The BioMS-Lilly partnership: The largest ever in Canadian biotech history Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical giant, had been through this process countless times. Its world-class sales and marketing team understands the intricacies of getting a product approved, priced and reimbursed.

Deloitte successfully assisted the BioMS team in negotiating a partnership with Lilly, which will see it take responsibility for MBP8298’s future development, manufacturing, and marketing in return for exclusive worldwide rights. In addition to an up-front $87 million payment, the deal includes potential development and sales milestones up to $410 million, plus development costs, plus escalating sales royalties if MBP8298 is successfully marketed. This means BioMS will likely not have to seek additional funding. Connections make the difference Webster, who led Deloitte’s deal-making team, believes in the collective power of networking. “Having a broad base of contacts helps us open doors and remove obstacles,” he says. “We know who to call and how to get through to them. Our global network of Deloitte professionals with experience in the  Life Sciences  industry is a key strength that allows us to design and coordinate the process, participate in all levels of negotiations, execute and ultimately close the deal.”

That network allowed Deloitte to leverage its financial and strategic experience, industry knowledge, and access to the full range of clinical, regulatory, medical, scientific, intellectual property, licensing and financial resources. The stage is now set for future industry wins “This product was critical to our company’s future,” says BioMS’s Giese. “We wanted our service providers to get it. We wanted to see it in their timelines, in their deliverables, and in their passion. Deloitte got it right from the start. We’d absolutely recommend them to other companies trying to do the same thing.

Are you making the right connections to take your world-beating ideas to the next level? Do you:  

  1. Have a complete plan, strategy and process to maximize the value of your partnership deal?
  2. Have experience structuring and negotiating global partnering deals?
  3. Have access to potential, decision-making partners?
  4. Have a dedicated sales and marketing team for current and future products?
  5. Have a solid valuation of your technology considering comparable deals, intrinsic values, market dynamics and opportunity?

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