Next week, MassBio is holding its first-ever Partnering Week (January 25-29, 2021). This week-long event connects major biopharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic, and digital health organizations with early-stage companies developing breakthrough technologies in complementary focus areas for partnering opportunities. To learn more about the role of external innovation and partnering, we sat down with Angus J. Grant, Ph.D., Chief Business Executive, BeiGene, and one of the sponsors of Parterning Week. Here’s what he had to say:
What role does partnering / external innovation play in your organization?
Partnerships have contributed dramatically to our growth, and external innovation continues to foster our expansion into new therapeutic areas, modes of action, and indications.
We collaborate with academia, biotechs, and pharmaceutical companies to jointly develop and commercialize innovative treatments for patients globally. Through our partnerships, we are able to provide potentially life changing therapies to patients as fast as possible, to the highest quality, within a compliant environment.
Working with organizations that share our patient-centric vision, and our commitment to cutting-edge science ensures that together, BeiGene and our partners, are able to get treatments to those in need around the world.
How do you support and/or engage with the startup community in Massachusetts?
Many of our alliance management, business development, and corporate strategy team members are based in BeiGene’s Cambridge office and are active in the local biotech ecosystem – including serving as mentors in the MassBio community.
We are working diligently and deliberately to embed ourselves within the Massachusetts startup community, and we value the potential, passion, and insights this community has to offer. In short, we want to become a ‘go-to’ organization; we want to be one the first companies that Massachusetts innovators think of, when they have an exciting new biotech opportunity.
What is one of the greatest unmet medical needs that your organization hopes to address in the next several years and how do you intend to do so?
BeiGene is advancing its diverse pipeline to bring impactful treatments to people with serious unmet medical needs in oncology, hematology, inflammation, and immunology. Our vision is to transform the biotechnology industry, creating medicines that will be accessible to far more cancer patients around the world.
One of the challenges we are working to address is that of access to medicines around the world. We have partnered with compelling biotech and pharma companies to deliver on that mission, as we do with our own internally discovered oncology treatments.
Why did you sign on to MassBio’s Partnering Week and what do you hope to accomplish?
BeiGene signed on to MassBio’s Partnering Week because we believe both that collaboration has the power to unlock impactful therapies, and in the preeminent science and medicine in the Massachusetts. We value externally sourced innovation equally to our in-house research and development, and aim to bring the best available science to work in service of our global patient community.
We are also excited to share our story with the Massachusetts startup community – as we were founded by an MIT graduate only 10 years ago, and now have:
- Over 5,200+ employees on 5 continents
- 7 commercialized products
- $32.5B market capitalization
Angus J. Grant, Ph.D.
Chief Business Executive, BeiGene
Angus J. Grant, Ph.D., joined BeiGene in June 2020 as Chief Business Executive, bringing more than 25 years of experience across multiple key functions in the biotech industry, including business development, alliance management, research and development, and regulatory affairs . In this role, Dr. Grant oversees a unique integrated function that includes corporate strategy, new product planning, business development, and alliance management. This function is tasked with driving external innovation, as well as investment in seed and series A opportunities, to guide BeiGene’s global growth strategy.
Prior to joining BeiGene, Dr. Grant was the CEO of the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), a specialist venture capital fund focused on therapeutics for age-related dementias and neurodegenerative disease. Before that, Dr. Grant spent 12 years at Celgene (now a Bristol Myers Squibb company) serving various executive roles, including Corporate Vice President of Business Development, and Vice President, Regulatory Affairs. Earlier in his career, Dr. Grant worked in business development and regulatory roles at Novartis, Merck KGaA, Rhone Poulanc-Rohrer, SmithKline Beecham, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for Toronto Innovation and Acceleration Partners. Dr. Grant received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and a Ph.D. in Anatomy and Immunology from the Medical College of Virginia, and completed his postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute.