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What happens after a biotech has found their dream biopharma company to collaborate with? To make a deal, they should be prepared to talk, ask, negotiate and listen a lot.

Basel, Switzerland., 04 February 2022 —Most people who are in biotech do it for one reason: they enjoy science and bringing new treatments to patients. However, when it comes to transferring the science to a successful business, founders need to navigate many new topics, one of them being the execution of a business development deal. Because as with romance, the happy end is not the end of the story – or in this case: finding the perfect biopharma company to partner with is just the start of a bigger story. Now is the time to define the partnership and to build some strong pillars to deepen it.

There is no shortcut to a biotech business deal

The authors Jorge Conde and Becky Pferdehirt from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz break business development down into three acts: pre-term sheet, term sheet and post-term sheet. In their article “Anatomy of a Biotech Business Development Deal” they address some key tasks that biotech founders need to keep in mind. Spoiler: There is no shortcut to signing a solid partnership. Attention to detail is a fundamental requirement to make it through the vetting process.

Here are some of the takeaways to keep in mind for successful biotech business development:

  • Align both the leading scientists and business developers from both partners in the discussion – but have the scientists laying out the basics of the collaboration as they are going to be the ones executing on it.
  • Clearly articulate goals, expectations, and partner’s governance process when moving to term sheet discussions.
  • Have a clear idea of what is critical for you and where you have wriggle room in the negotiation.
  • Having legal advice with experience in biotech is crucial and money well spent.
  • A term sheet is just the first step – the deal is only secured once the full contract is signed.
  • Build a strong alliance with your partner which is all about communicating – in the end, it’s about people working together.

We recommend you check out this guide to dive into the topic. If you want to put the theory into practice, let us know: BaseLaunch helps you with business deals and with various other aspects of your venture right from the get-go. If you have an emerging biotech project or simply want to pick our brains on crucial topics in biotech, get in touch and drop us an email:,,



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