27 Jan Interview Jaume Ruiz – Business Development Director and Senior Consultant at GENESIS Biomed
Jaume Ruiz: “There is enough interest and money for the private sector to collaborate with public health research institutions”.
Jaume Ruiz has a degree in Pharmacy, an MBA and a Master in Project Management from the University of La Salle (URL). For 25 years he held different positions in the pharmaceutical industry (Almirall, Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Vita and Salvat). He has been responsible for the development, scale-up and launch of drugs such as Ebastel, Cidine, Cetraxal and Relive. For 8 years he worked in the areas of innovation, technology transfer, business development, spin-off creation and licensing in IDIBELL; VHIR and IGTP, in the latter he afterwards held the position of Quality Director in charge of monitoring and compliance with the Strategic Plan, ISCIII accreditations and CERCA, among other tasks. He has also been a lecturer in several Masters (UAB, URL, IUCT). Since 2021 he has joined GENESIS Biomed where he currently holds the position of Business Development Director.
What part of your professional profile do you think can bring most to the position of Business Development Manager?
The position of Business Development requires multidisciplinary knowledge of the sector in which you are going to develop your activity, both Healthcare and Pharma, innovation, transfer, business, trends, as well as a deep knowledge of the market and other intangibles such as human values such as empathy and active listening, in order to know your potential client very well. The maturity of this position is obtained with years of experience in the sector, as well as the networking capacity of the person who occupies this position. It may also happen that, with the passage of time, you have already contacted the vast majority of the people you know, and it is at this point that the person’s seniority, experience, ability to interact and communication skills emerge to achieve new business relationships.
What services do you think GENESIS Biomed can offer to Health Research Institutes, which you know very well?
The Majority of the Health Research Institutes in Spain, most of which are members of the ITEMAS network, suffer from the same endemic problem, which is the lack of staff in their technology transfer offices, also known as OTRI, TTO, UAI, etc. In many transfer offices there are only one or, at most, two people to deal with the great demand for innovation proposals that come from their researchers and healthcare staff in general. Having to advise these future innovators on the potential projects that come to the office, evaluate their technologies from the point of view of industrial or intellectual protection, as well as the viability of the proposal itself, interact repeatedly with them, carry out a market study, see potential competitors, study and learn about public and private calls for funding, etc. requires highly qualified and stable staff. All this, in an Institute with 40-50 potential projects on the table, is totally unfeasible.
This is where GENESIS Biomed can collaborate with the Institutes, carrying out project evaluations, studying the potential business models of each technology, market studies, business plans, advice for the creation of a spin off, etc. This means outsourcing part of the work overload of the transfer office and, in turn, having the expertise of GENESIS Biomed in each of the projects entrusted.
Do you think that IIS (Health Research Institute) can clearly identify their needs at the innovation management level or can an external consultant take a more holistic view and contribute more effectively to their detection?
As mentioned in the previous section, the vast majority of transfer offices are overwhelmed with work on a daily basis. This means that not all projects can be dealt with in the time and manner they require. Without having the time to evaluate each project that reaches the transfer office and carry out its correct follow-up and, in some cases, with staff with little experience in the innovation and entrepreneurship sector in the health sector, it is highly advisable to outsource part of the management of their needs to a company with extensive experience in the health sector and a holistic, broad and realistic vision, which will work side by side with the head of the office and the researcher.
This three-way synergy produces very positive results for the project, both from the point of view of its viability and the most relevant business aspects, without the innovation manager or the researcher ever losing control of the project. The secret lies in trust and communication between each of the actors involved.
In this sense, GENESIS Biomed’s client portfolio includes most of the most prestigious research institutes in the country, who trust us to offer this holistic and experienced vision on any health innovation project, knowing the maximum confidentiality that GENESIS Biomed guarantees to each of the clients on the projects they entrust to us.
What do you think are the factors that slow down public-private collaboration in the health and research environment in this country?
Strong public-private collaboration in the research environment requires that health research institutions, through their transfer offices, offer an attractive portfolio of projects to the private sector. To do so, these projects must be clearly filtered, well defined, have a good value proposition over their competitors and, among other aspects, present a robust financial plan. All of this will provide security to the private party as soon as it becomes interested in the project and will be willing to learn more about the project.
The lack of time to reliably detect the above points and, on many occasions, a certain lack of knowledge of the market and its operations on the part of the institutions, means that the offers presented at forums, conferences or meetings with investors or private companies are not sufficiently attractive to them.
There is sufficient interest and money for the private sector to collaborate with public health research institutions, either through co-development agreements, service provision contracts or simply by acquiring a licence. In this sense, GENESIS Biomed can offer to add value to a project by contributing its know-how as a consultant to it, through the drafting of business plans in which the aspects most desired by the companies are clearly shown and, in addition, speaking the same language as them. GENESIS Biomed’s value proposition is increasingly appreciated by the institutions, both by the transfer offices, as well as by the Management Directors and even the Directors of the Institutes. An activity that is increasingly in demand is the scouting of potential interested companies and the dialogue with them. GENESIS Biomed has a wide network of contacts and market knowledge that makes this service increasingly demanded by institutions.
In this public-private partnership, hospitals seem to be more advanced than universities. What are the factors that have contributed to this?
Indeed, all parameters seem to indicate that private collaboration flows more in hospitals than in universities, although it is only a matter of time before the situation evens out. Although universities may have very competitive and attractive projects for the private sector, collaboration in the hospital sector is more mature than in universities. This is mainly due to the fact that hospitals have become centres of innovation per se, in some cases disruptive, within the reach of any member of the healthcare community, whether doctor or nurse, and where ideas, prototypes and innovative solutions can be tested in the same centre. Hospitals have gone from being mere care centres to spaces for co-creation, testing and validation, and finally implementation. This generates great value for the public and also for the private sector, which results in more signed collaborations. The patient wins, the healthcare staff wins, the company wins and society in general wins.
It should be noted that the extensive experience gained over decades in the field of collaboration between hospitals and pharmaceutical and medical device companies means that relations between the two players are at an advanced stage of maturity, which facilitates any new collaboration in healthcare innovation projects. GENESIS Biomed also collaborates with hospital managers, mainly tertiary, throughout Spain and their corresponding work teams, in the development of proposals and also for the creation of spin-offs from the centres.
Can GENESIS Biomed offer services not only to institutions, but also to spin-offs or start-ups?
GENESIS Biomed can offer a wide range of customised services to start-ups and spin-offs emerging from academia or hospitals. The most demanded by them are the search for funding, the updating of their business plan, cost-effectiveness services, regulatory strategy, clinical development plan, negotiation strategy to attract new fundraising, etc. GENESIS Biomed is entrusted with the holistic 360-degree vision that these companies need, in its entirety, due to its extensive strategic and market knowledge, which means that these companies fully trust us to achieve their objectives and to accompany them on this long road of entrepreneurship, always in the wake of mutual trust, being seen as a strategic partner in the biomedical sector.