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The New World of Pharma Collaborations

Tuesday, January 31st, 3:00pm-3:55pm

This panel will illustrate a set of new types of collaborations that bring together funding and know-how to address pharma’s needs in the world of patent expirations, lower R&D productivity, and other pipeline challenges. This unique panel will feature 3 parties and 3 separate deals that have been completed among them. Two of these deals are very recent, and BIO Asia will be the first public platform where these new development models will be discussed. Specifically, in 2009, Eisai and Quintiles entered into a risk-sharing agreement agreement where Quintiles would execute a set of oncology trials. More recently, in September 2011, Eisai announced a deal with SFJ Pharmaceuticals, in which SFJ takes on risk to complete the clinical development of Eisai’s Phase 3 thyroid cancer candidate. Moreover, this panel will also focus on a newly executed deal between Quintiles, SFJ, and Pfizer. 


  • Alan F. Eisenberg, Executive Vice President, Emerging Companies and Business Development, BIO


  • Robert DeBenedetto, CPA, President & CEO, SFJ Pharmaceuticals
  • Rami Suzuki Ph.D., Senior Director of Business Development Department, Eisai Co, Ltd.
  • Johan Westblad, M.Sc., MBA, Associate Director, Business Development, Quintiles Japan

Who's Who

Robert DeBenedetto, CPA  
President & CEO, SFJ Pharmaceuticals

Robert DeBenedetto has 28 years of professional experience, with 24 years related to pharmaceutical / life sciences. Robert’s most recent 14 years of experience was specifically related to the Japanese pharmaceutical and medical industry.

  • Specialized in global expansion including mergers, acquisitions and alliance formation. Robert has been involved in 85 acquisitions, mergers and licensing arrangements valued at over $6 billion.
  • From 2004 to 2008, as Vice President of Global Business Development, Robert led a specialized group focused on strategic pharmaceutical development and partnerships in Japan, as part of Quintiles Transnational’s NovaQuest division.
  • Robert held executive positions at Boston Scientific from 1995 to 2003, some of which included, Executive Committee Member, CFO, V.P. of Corporate Development, and V.P. of Corporate Marketing for Boston Scientific’s Japan subsidiary. Boston Scientifics' Japan subsidiary had 800 employees with sales exceeding $600 million and profits of approximately $360 million.
  • Prior to joining Boston Scientific, Robert was a practicing CPA for 9 years, of which most of those years were with Ernst & Young where Robert concentrated in international mergers and acquisitions.
  • Robert has a Masters Degree from Bentley College and a Bachelor's Degree in Finance & Accounting from Northeastern University


Alan F. Eisenberg
Executive Vice President, Emerging Companies and Business Development, BIO
Alan F. Eisenberg serves as Executive Vice President for Emerging Companies and Business Development at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). In this role, Eisenberg manages and directs BIO’s services and advocacy efforts for BIO’s emerging companies, which comprise approximately 90% of BIO’s membership. This includes capital formation policy and human health policy impacting emerging companies, BIO’s portfolio of investor and partnering events globally, and BIO’s affinity purchasing program enrolling over 2000 companies. Previously at BIO, Eisenberg served in other senior leadership roles, including responsibilities for BIO’s communications function, as well as state government relations, Board operations, and BIO’s political action committee.

From March 2001 through October 2004, Eisenberg served as Health and Economics Policy Advisor to BIO CEO Jim Greenwood during his tenure in Congress. In this role, Eisenberg was extensively involved in the enactment of several public laws including the Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act (P.L. 107-250), the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (P.L. 107-109), and key provisions of the Medicare Modernization Act (P.L.108-173).

Prior to that, Eisenberg briefly served on the staff of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Public Health Subcommittee as Health Policy Advisor and also was a legislative assistant for Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ).

Before coming to Washington, Eisenberg spent four years with Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI, as a research economist and finance manager in manufacturing. As an economist, Eisenberg was responsible for conducting and overseeing the development of analyses relating to a variety of energy, regulatory and tax matters.

Eisenberg holds a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government), a Master of Science in Finance degree from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Union College. He is married to Shalla Ross, and they have two daughters, Michayla and Isabella.

Rami Suzuki Ph.D.
Senior Director of Business Development Department, Eisai Co, Ltd.
Rami Suzuki Ph.D. heads corporate business development efforts at the Tokyo headquarters of Eisai Co., Ltd.  Before joining Eisai, she worked for a venture capital fund, specializing in European life science opportunities. She obtained her Ph.D. in Medicine at Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research, University College London, and her postdoc work focused on breast cancer at Imperial College, London.

Johan Westblad, M.Sc., MBA
Associate Director, Business Development, Quintiles Japan
Johan Westblad has been engaged in business development and marketing in the biopharmaceutical field for both private and government sectors, based in Japan. In his current position, Westblad has successfully lead full service clinical development business with Quintiles acting as local representative in Japan, or ICCC (In-Country Clinical Care Taker), on behalf of foreign biopharmaceutical companies to enter or expand their activities in the Japanese market. Prior to joining Quintiles, Westblad worked for Invest Sweden at the Swedish Embassy of Tokyo, where he assisted Japanese pharmaceutical companies to invest in and collaborate with Swedish biotechnology companies, university researcheok causers and CROs. Westblad got his MBA with a specialization in finance from McGill University and his Master of Science in International Business from Gothenburg University.