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Business Development: Value Drivers Under the Influence—How Licensing and Key Events Affect Valuation

Tuesday, February 14th, 12:00pm-12:55pm

When management faces the age-old conundrum of when to partner, oftentimes, there is no clear answer. With Pharmasset’s recent successful sale to Gilead, a new normal may exist—whereby investors hope to price in acquisition level valuations early on, thus handing over control of prized assets too soon could prove to be a new risk for biotech companies. Large upfront cash deals with pharma were once thought to be the Holy Grail for a biotech company, but do recent examples prove otherwise? Are these companies giving up too much too soon? If so, when is the best time to partner or license an asset to ensure success for the company? Times have definitely changed—will the Street continue to expect acquisition level valuations in 2012, or is this just a brief whim? A panel of industry experts who have executed successful deals will proffer their insights.


  • Ben Bonifant, Senior Vice President and Practice Area Leader, Campbell Alliance


  • Rachel K. King, Chief Executive Officer, GlycoMimetics, Inc.
  • Michael Margolis, RPh, Managing Director, Healthcare Investment Banking, ROTH Capital Partners
  • Ronald C. Renaud, Jr., President & CEO, Idenix Pharmaceuticals
  • Barbara Yanni, JD, LLM, CLP, Vice President and Chief Licensing Officer, Merck & Co

Who's Who

Ben Bonifant
Senior Vice President and Practice Area Leader, Campbell Alliance
Ben Bonifant is the leader of Campbell Alliance’s Business Development practice. In that role, Mr. Bonifant assists leaders in large and small pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on key licensing and acquisition initiatives. He also acts as a strategic advisor to venture capital and private equity decision makers. Prior to joining Campbell, Mr. Bonifant was a partner in the Strategy Practice at Mercer Management Consulting. Mr. Bonifant’s perspectives on life-sciences market developments are frequently published in industry and strategy journals, including Nature Biotechnology, Scrip, InVivo, and Pharmaceutical Executive. Mr. Bonifant is a member of the faculty of BIO’s Business Development Basics and Advanced Business Development Professional Development Courses, and he is the co-chairman of the biannual LES Royalty Rate Survey Committee. He is currently serving on the National Program Committee for the 2011 BIO International Convention. Mr. Bonifant earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BS from Duke University.

Rachel K. King
Chief Executive Officer, GlycoMimetics, Inc.
Rachel King is co-founder and CEO of GlycoMimetics, Inc. (GMI), a biotechnology company which has so far raised over $60 million in venture capital financing and recently completed a strategic partnership with Pfizer. Before founding GMI, she was an Executive in Residence at New Enterprise Associates, one of the nation’s leading venture capital firms. Mrs. King came to NEA after serving as a Senior Vice President of Novartis Corporation. Before joining Novartis, Mrs. King spent ten years with Genetic Therapy, Inc. through the company’s early stage, initial public offering, and eventual sale to Novartis. There she held various positions, including as the Company’s CEO. Mrs. King also worked previously at ALZA Corporation in Palo Alto, California and at Bain and Company in Boston. She received her B.A degree from Dartmouth College and her MBA from Harvard Business School. Mrs. King currently serves on the Board the Biotechnology Industry Association (“BIO”). At BIO, she is on the Executive Committee and the BioEthics Committee of the Board of Directors and is the immediate past Chair of the Emerging Companies Governing Body. She is also a Member of the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley and of the Board of Directors of the MDBIO Foundation.

Michael Margolis, RPh
Managing Director, Healthcare Investment Banking, ROTH Capital Partners
Michael Margolis is a Managing Director in ROTH Capital Partners’ Healthcare Investment Banking group and joined the firm in December 2009. Margolis was most recently a Managing Director of Healthcare Investment Banking at Merriman Curhan Ford. Previously Margolis was a senior vice president at Rodman & Renshaw. He had extensive financial and pharmaceutical industry experience before joining Rodman. Margolis worked at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in several roles, including as a director in the global business development and licensing group. He was an equity research analyst at Ursus Capital, and he began his career as at Eli Lilly & Company as a senior pharmaceutical representative.

Margolis is a registered pharmacist with an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a pharmacy degree from Rutgers University, College of Pharmacy. He is based in our New York office.

Ronald C. Renaud, Jr.
President & CEO, Idenix Pharmaceuticals
Ronald C. Renaud has served as the President and chief executive officer of Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since October 2010. Prior to this, Mr. Renaud has served as the chief financial officer of Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. since June 2007 and additionally as Chief Business Officer since June 2010. Mr. Renaud brings a unique mix of skills to this role with his finance experience at public biotechnology companies and on Wall Street, as well as his science background. Prior to joining Idenix, Mr. Renaud served as chief financial officer of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals. In this role he was responsible for the strategic planning and development of the finance function to support the company’s growth and its late-stage product candidate development. Prior to his position at Keryx, he spent several years as a senior biotechnology equity analyst for leading investment banks including Bear Stearns, Schwab SoundView and JP Morgan. Additional industry experience includes Mr. Renaud's more than five years at Amgen Inc., where he held positions in clinical research, investor relations and finance. 

Mr. Renaud holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts from St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH.