Inova's story with Bayer began six years ago, when the German pharma company decided to merge six different Business Development & Licensing teams to form a single Bayer Partnering team. As the success of this partnering function is crucial to the organization, they decided to look for a software, so they could set up a single partnering process that would encourage synergy. That was when Cornelius Kurz joined the team. Cornelius was assigned to be the project lead for landscaping, decision making and implementation.
“We had 3-4 solutions to choose from. The most critical features for us were user-friendliness, customizability, connectivity to Thomson Reuters’ Clarivate and insightful reporting. In the end, we decided Inova would be our best way forward.”
- Cornelius Kurz, Global Project Manager BD&L, Bayer
Once Inova was selected, Cornelius and his team rolled up their sleeves to start with the configuration of Inova, based on the team’s actual process. This was then followed by a draft implementation and a comprehensive user acceptance testing (UAT). With more than 200 active projects, Inova was then deployed to its 160 users. Later on, thousands of historical records spread across six legacy systems were migrated into Inova.
Cornelius recalls, “The implementation went by really smoothly, and was kept simple. Each project took 3-5 minutes to create and the number of fields were reduced to a minimum, only those that were relevant and necessary to reporting were mandatory.”
Leveraging insightful reporting for partnering excellence
Speaking of reporting, part of the many reasons they chose Inova was to have a tool that would give senior management a consistent 360-degree view of all the interactions happening in all these five different therapeutic areas. And so, once Inova was up-and-running, the next challenge was to create reporting functionalities that would automatically provide this high-level overview of projects, and at the same time proper, relevant and up-to-date project information. The first step for Bayer was to create a reporting process that would suit senior management's needs. They have decided on a process where that is then simplified to a report, which is a deck of slides containing all projects each team is working on – including background information, status description, and next steps for each asset. This report is done monthly and presented to the Pharmaceuticals Executive Committee. Bayer then initiated a project with Inova to customize this report according to the specifications that could benefit all the six teams and reduce manual modifications as much as possible.
Cornelius recalls that having reporting functionalities in Inova provides two benefits: One is time-savings for the end-user. He recalls his previous experience at other functions in Bayer where 50-60 people were involved to update reports manually for their monthly meetings. The other benefit is receiving transparent and accurate reports for the senior management by having one, unique source of reporting that is constantly used across the department.
On top of reporting, Bayer has also taken advantage of other Inova features, which helped them in their daily tasks and challenges. Some of their favorites are the search function, which they use to find their latest interactions, as well as the internal and external peer-review features.
Bayer’s Partnering Team sets the standard for managing an effective partnering lifecycle in the biopharma industry
As partnering is integral to Bayer’s strategic vision, the Bayer Partnering team was organized to tap into the biopharma industry’s scientific know-how and translate it into innovative drugs. With about 50 development projects worldwide, their partnering efforts range from traditional licensing agreements or strategic alliances to public-private partnerships or open innovation models. These partnerships cover the entire value-chain from Research to Commercialization and give Bayer a competitive advantage in the industry.