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A Patient-Centric Approach to Investing & Partnering

October 18, 2018
Thursday’s Plenary Luncheon Fireside Chat at the 2018 BIO Investor Forum (BIF) featured two industry leaders: Rowan Chapman, PhD., head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, California, and moderator Deepa Pakianathan, PhD., managing partner of Delphi Ventures.

Dispensing with the typical question and answer style fireside chat, Chapman and Pakianathan instead engaged in a dynamic, frank and wide-ranging conversation that drew on their diverse experiences. Both began their careers doing bench research and have spent time at large companies. Pakianathan then went on to Wall Street.

Their diverse experiences provided unique insights into how big and small companies approach partnering and investing—and the different points of view that they bring to decision making.

Both also shared their disdain for the “buzzword bingo” that too often permeates a company’s pitch. They said companies are better off focusing on a more straight-forward approach of: Here is the unmet medical need we are addressing and this is the efficacy of our work.

Both Chapman and Pakianathan embraced a patient-centric approach to investing and partnering, where the goal is how to work best with a partner or portfolio company to get the product to the patients who need them.

Chapman began her comments focusing J&J’s credo, which was first developed 75 years ago and continues to be the guiding philosophy of the company. The credo has four main tenants: The first is the responsibility to the end user of the company’s products and innovations. Second is the responsibility to its employees. Third is the responsibility to the company’s suppliers, partners and all stakeholders in the ecosystem. And fourth is the responsibility to the company’s investors.

The two also talked about the confluence of tech and biotech and how both J&J and Delphi Ventures look at machine learning, data science and AI as tools for enabling health care. They discussed how apps and smart phones can change human behavior.

In addition, they described J&J Innovation Centers as places for developing the best science and technology to solve the greatest unmet needs of our time. The four regional Innovation Centers are located in Boston, California, London and Asia Pacific. 

The discussion turned to how J&J can help small companies in three key areas: regulatory, market access and capital—all designed to maximize the partnership and likelihood of success.

Attendees at the plenary lunch left inspired by where the industry is heading and equipped with important and practical new tools and ideas to consider as they look to scale and grow their own companies.


Access business panels, therapeutic sessions, and fireside chats from the 2018 Investor Forum by purchasing a Virtual Attendee Package here.