Bonaccord at BioForum
I was delighted to be invited to speak at this year’s BioForum in Lodz on the topic of maximising your return from licensing deals and enforcing your rights. Given that there are many companies trying to make their technology visible in a crowded market and to attract investment or commercial partners it is natural that small companies may clutch at any decent offer that comes their way however with a little thought it is possible to increase your return substantially and often at little cost to your potential partner. In my presentation I encouraged companies to think about which parts of their technology they licensed to which companies and for which markets, to consider how they structured the financials and the other benefits of the deal and in particular to look at how their potential partner could help them with their business beyond the straightforward deal. It is all very well however to structure a fancy deal you still have to enforce it and the cost traditionally involved may be a barrier to many small companies. I discussed a number of methodologies for ensuring that you actually get the benefit of the deals you negotiate. I looked at the various dispute resolution mechanisms available and also at how you can use contractual terms to avoid problems down the line, ensure early discussion of changing conditions and be alert to problems ahead. A key factor is anticipating where you think the problems will arise and crafting your resolution clauses to meet that perceived need rather than a blanket resolution clause at the end.
One of the most interesting aspects of these conferences is the opportunity to meet with exciting new companies. Two companies of particular interest this year were Blirt from Poland and Generi Biotech of the Czech Republic.
Blirt (www.blirt.eu) offers a wide range of proteomic, analytical and synthesis services as well as undertaking their own research. In proteomics they offer isolation of novel enzymes, expression systems for protein expression optimisation and development, purification optimisation, enzyme engineering, DNA sequencing and lyophilisation. They also provide a range of enzymes for industry and researchers in molecular biology.
Generi Biotech, (www.generi-biotech.com), also combine services with independent research. The company has particular expertise in the synthesis and application of oligonuclotides and in fact is the only Czech commercial producer of oligonucleotides which they offer for sale together with probes to other organisations within the country and abroad. All their processes have been ISO 9001 certified since 2006 and given that they are customers for their own products they truly understand customer service. They also provide quantitative PCR, DNA sequencing, molecular cloning and services related to cell cultures such as such cytotoxicity testing and mycoplasma detection. Customised research programmes and biological identification such as cell line authentication and paternity outsourcing are also offered.