How would you advice utilizing strategic partners to progress a product. What things do you want to look for in a strategic partner?

Answer

Often times a strategic partnership is a great way to advance your technology or product candidate. There are many forms of strategic relationships, ranging from collaborations where the strategic partner is very hands-on and involved in the development (often committing in-kind services), to others where the partner may simply help fund the development based on milestones with no or little direct involvement.

When evaluating a potential partner, it is important to think about the scope of the collaboration and what type of assistance (beyond financial), you may benefit from. Does the potential partner have expertise in your area of research? Have they successfully brought a similar product to market? What is their interest in your technology and how will it complement their own technology and / or products?

Often times the benefits of a strategic partnership go far beyond the financial component and allow you to access expertise that as a small start-up company you may lack. This can be particularly important in clinical development where a small company may not have in-house clinical or regulatory expertise necessary to successfully navigate product development and ultimately gain regulatory approval.