At the heart of the biotech industry lies a maze of challenges that demand strategic navigation, especially for new and growing companies.
During Biotech Week Boston, Brandy Fidler interviewed Gregg Beloff and Ann Darda, who provided insights into the complex landscape of biotech and how Danforth can help.
Brandy: Gregg, as a seasoned biotech CFO and executive advisor, what advice would you give to management teams in new and expanding companies?
Gregg: Biotech, arguably the riskiest industry, demands substantial capital for effective scientific progress. The real challenge lies in being capital-efficient. At Danforth, we emphasize minimizing fixed overhead costs and focusing investments on scientific advancement.
Brandy: Could you elaborate on how Danforth aids biotech companies in achieving this goal?
Gregg: We offer a comprehensive suite of services—finance, development strategy, communications, and HR—on an outsourced variable basis. By doing so, we enable companies to concentrate on their science without burdening themselves with fixed costs.
Brandy: Ann, speaking from an HR perspective, what are some of the significant challenges facing the biotech industry today?
Ann Darda: The industry grapples with decisions regarding hiring versus outsourcing, which is crucial for long-term cash planning. Financing difficulties and retaining employee focus amid challenging times pose additional hurdles. Investing in people remains pivotal amidst market uncertainties.
Brandy: Is establishing an HR function essential for startups, or is it a later consideration?
Gregg: The timing depends on the company’s growth trajectory. Danforth’s model offers variable expertise tailored to different growth stages. From recruitment to organizational development, having an HR partner aligns goals and people within the company.
Ann: Our approach allows companies to access HR expertise as needed, avoiding the full cost of dedicated hires. This flexibility aids in strategic decision-making, whether to invest in fixed HR costs or leverage outsourced support.
The biotech industry faces well-known challenges, from securing financing to retaining top talent and maintaining focus amidst uncertainties. By minimizing fixed costs and providing the right expertise in a stage-adjusted way, Danforth helps biotech companies maximize their investment in R&D, build value and advance.