The competition for financing is intense. How and which projects do you choose to back?
Julian Bertschinger: At Johnson & Johnson we collaborate with and invest in innovative projects which have the potential to deliver transformative solutions that address unmet needs and create a real added benefit and better outcomes for patients.
If you would have to decide, what is the one single most important advice you would give to a start-up?
Julian Bertschinger: Strike the right balance between persistence and flexibility: in healthcare and pharmaceutical R&D, you need to persist and believe in the potential of your program over many years while many others may tell you that your idea will never work. At the same you should be open to learn from others and flexibly adapt your business model to remain competitive.
What major lessons did you learn from founding, building and developing a biotech company?
Julian Bertschinger: First of all, it is crucial to think through your projects from A to Z, meaning from the first scientific hypothesis for a new drug up to how you can prove added benefit for patients over existing treatments and compounds in development ahead of you. Thinking of all these aspects early on will significantly increase the likelihood of creating real value in your start-up.
Second, it is key to assemble the best possible team and work with the most experienced and knowledgeable advisors.