Capitalize on Asia's Opportunities in Life Sciences!

CHINA; Developing Your Plan

3 Days Workshop together with GeorgeJames Ltd, UK
2018-05-16, The Henley Business School, London, UK

The first residential workshop will take place on Wednesday 16th, Thursday 17th May & Monday 25th June 2018 at The Henley Business School, Greenlands Campus, Henley-on-Thames, just outside London.

The course Leader will be Dr Bjorn Hammarberg, ABD Life Sciences, with more than 20 years experience of doing business in "greater" China, Japan and Korea.

We have put together our China Workshops in response to our (partner’s and course leader’s) experience, gained over a decade and a half, of helping western companies exploit opportunities in China. Unfortunately, in the majority of case this help is requested when things have already started to go wrong, or the expected results are not being achieved. Too often it is a case of trying to recover a situation and put a mainland China initiative back on track. Money and time (often very significant amounts of both) have already been wasted. In addition to developing a best practice approach ABD has seen a lot of what to avoid and not to do. 

Our other driver has been feedback from the life science community in Europe – that government agencies and the many private sector organisations that between them offer/facilitate access to grants, provide advice, organise trade visits and partnering events do not produce the necessary results. There are many reasons for these criticisms including but two most often cited include a lack of focus on outcomes and the too many connections made with time wasters.

Fundamentally our rationale for developing our China Workshops is based on Prevention being better than Cure. The 3-days workshop is once again educational but with a with a significant emphasis on planning a China initiative with clear outcomes – for companies that have already committed to pursuing opportunities in China or indeed are underway with their China initiative. Once again, the key drivers are to avoid time wasters, minimise mistake and give your initiative the best chance of success. The content includes:

  • Intercultural Communication: understanding the differences and the similarities in business practices, and decision making, in mainland China
  • Strategy development: the importance of understanding the differences between the European markets and China and the impact of the fast-evolving regulatory reforms in mainland China
  • The Regulatory environment: overcoming perceived hurdles, navigating the regulatory landscape not only from CFDA, but also other regulations imposed by central and regional authorities, taking advantage of recent regulatory changes and the opportunities created for European Companies
  • Price and Reimbursement: what prices are acceptable and how many could afford to pay
  • Clinical Trials: the opportunities provided by large populations and treatment naïve patients, overcoming challenges with the differences in treatment paradigms
  • Partnering: creating your own networks, leveraging your “associates” Guanxhi, doing road shows to understand the competitive landscape and market access, and conducting due diligence
  • Local Manufacturing or Sourcing in mainland China
  • Process: Preparing your business so that you are ready for the challenges and can take advantage of the opportunities in mainland China
  • Managing expectations: Success requires a long-term vision, stakeholder commitment and patience

The programme is designed for Senior Executives and Investors with businesses that:

  • Are actively/imminently considering partnering/co-development as well as commercial opportunities, e.g. out-licensing, regional/global clinical trials, engaging with a Chinese CRO/CDMO or commercial launch/distribution.
  • Have already engaged in commercial activities and would like to benchmark their approach and experience to date with experts with local knowledge and specialist know-how
  • Are in the early stage of implementing a “China” strategy and are frustrated at the lack of progress being made.

The Workshop course leaders' profiles:

Dr Bjorn Hammarberg, Ph.D. (Biochemistry), Post. Doc. (Biochemical Engineering) Diploma Business Administration

Bjorn first encountered the challenges of intercultural communication between Europe and Asia when pursuing his Post.Doc tenure at RIKEN Institute in Wako-shi just outside Tokyo 1989 – 1990. At that time Bjorn could quite easily communicate in Japanese which helped.

After a position in R&D with Siemens, he switched to a global marketing position at then Pharma Biotech (now GE Healthcare), traveling frequently across Asia. From 1995 onwards, Bjorn has been involved in business development and marketing & sales activities in China, first from positions in Sweden and Tokyo, but from 2004 full time in Asia as Managing Director and Lead Consultant at ABD Life Sciences Ltd. in Hong Kong.

Bjorn has also led and coordinated projects not only in Business Development, but also in Regulatory Affairs, including GMP compliance, outsourcing and distribution, marketing & sales, and bio-manufacturing.

A selection of project achievements in China during the last 4 years:

  • Out-licensed and secured a co-development agreement with Lee’s Pharma (Hong Kong) for R&D, manufacturing, marketing & sales for Dilafor AB, a Swedish Biotech in Women’s Health.
  • Conducted due diligence (reputation, development capabilities, technical skills, regulatory affairs, market penetration and reach) of a number of Chinese oncology diagnostic companies. Assisting a European biotech company in preparations for partnering and co-development discussions.
  • Establishing distribution agreements with local mainland Chinese distributors for a European biotech supply company which provides crucial analytical tools for mAb development, process development and manufacturing. Touring China meeting with Chinese biopharma companies helping to introduce and market the products, as well as facilitating inter-cultural communication between the European SME and the Chinese distributors.
  • GMP audits (USFDA, PIC/S) and review of potential biopharma CMC partners in China for a large US Biotech, to outsource local production to China.
  • Provided business intelligence to a European oncology drug development company identifying potential co-development partners in China in terms of clinical development, regulatory affairs competence and reputation. Including recommendations.
  • GMP audit (PIC/S, USFDA, EMA) of biological production units on behalf of a large Chinese biopharma company, helping to train and explain Western regulations and requirements.  
  • Price- & Reimbursement studies, CFDA regulatory affairs review, and other business development activities including a road-show in China and assistance with cross-cultural communications for Miacom Diagnostic GmbH a Germany SME seeking a Chinese partner.

Bjorn did support Karolinska Development’s business development activities in China, from 2009 to 2014 conducting road-shows, investigating and meeting with potential partners.

In all these projects a deep understanding of the business culture and management styles in Asia have facilitated interactions, securing a positive outcome in negotiations and implementation of projects. This has given Bjorn the opportunity to build a solid network, continued the learning process, and continuously adapt to the rapid changing business and regulatory environment in this dynamic market.

Mr Andrew Burns, Director, Head of Consultancy Business Unit at georgejames Ltd, UK.

Andrew has operated as a Senior Executive, Board Director, Company Owner and a Business Consultant for the last 30 years. 

Andrew’s first job, post-graduation, was a six-month stint on an oil survey ship in the North Sea. It was wet, cold, at time frightening, but what they call “character building”.  It was also spectacularly dull and he returned to dry land to pursue a more normal career.

Subsequently Andrew’s “normal” career has included worked in precision engineering, enterprise software and latterly, and increasingly, with companies which can be broadly categories as scientific.

Andrew had his first experience of doing business internationally in the mid 1980’s when he was working for the largest engineering group in the UK.  He was responsible for an R&D programme that involved outsourcing the manufacturing of prototype engine components for the automotive industry that used a novel composite material.  The manufacturing partner was in Germany. This was closely followed by working on a joint manufacturing programme with, the then, emerging Italian nuclear industry. 

In the mid 1980’s Andrew moved in to the IT sector, working with both Hardware and Software manufacturers. He eventually moving to an International Business Development role for a UK based, FTSE listed company. Andrew worked on assignments in North America, Europe and the Far East. Andrew managed large consultancy teams, developed international networks, researched and developed new lines of business, raised funds and led acquisitions. It was during this period that Andrew had first-hand experience of the transition from a privately-owned company to a public corporation through an IPO.

In 2002 Andrew founded JBA Consulting Limited. JBA worked with software companies to help them develop and implement Accelerated Growth strategies. Most projects involved formulating and implementing internationalization strategies.

Andrew worked with companies of all sizes, both publicly quoted and privately owned, and across four continents, North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia.

In 2011 Andrew joined Drive Software Solutions as CEO and guided the company through a period of significant transition and growth. Today Drive is one of the leading companies in the world in its chosen application area with clients in the UK, USA, Europe and Australia. Andrew is an Investor in Drive.

Andrew joined george james ltd in 2017 to lead the Consulting Business Unit.

Andrew was until recently a non-executive director of a UK company that provides specialist renal software.

Throughout his career the one constant has been Andrew’s fascination and passion for understanding and learning about what distinguishes winning organisations from the rest.  In the private sector this has become a focus on how to create shareholder value through innovation, growth and business excellence. As he has gained in both knowledge and experience he has tried to put these lessons learnt into practise.


To sign-up and book a place, please follow the instructions at GeorgeJames web-site