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Risky Business: A Pharmaceutical Industry Strategy Workshop

Risky Business: A Pharmaceutical Industry Strategy Workshop

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Science Alliance


This page is for a past version of Risky Business. To register for the next workshop, click here.

Pharmaceutical companies make some of the biggest gambles of any industry: multi-million, even multi-billion dollar investments on a new drug. These investments can take more than a decade to play out. Scientific and technical barriers produce a high failure rate: Only one in ten new Phase I drugs make it to the market.

It appears obvious that partnering through business development and licensing (BD&L) can reduce the risks. However, key employees in R&D, BD&L, finance, sales & marketing, manufacturing and other areas often have a limited appreciation of how these risks actually strike or how to reduce them.

What is Risky Business All About?This course gives professionals from inside and outside the pharmaceutical industry- including students and postdocs- a much better understanding of how the R&D and BD&L processes operate. Participants get involved in a board game that has been developed specifically to mimic the pharmaceutical industry. The game enables players to absorb the complexities of R&D and BD&L easily and quickly!

How the Game is PlayedEach participant takes on the role of a pharmaceutical executive. The game gives them the experience of a multi-year drug development process, the creation of corporate strategies, management of the R&D pipeline, and the execution of partnering strategies. During the game, seven turns are played. In each turn, teams receive funds and Phase I projects and invest in their projects or infrastructure. They can negotiate and arrange deals with other teams. Each team completes its turn by paying for R&D projects, infrastructure investments and deals, where applicable. Rolling the dice determines the success or failure of each R&D project. The team with the highest company value in the final turn wins.

The game lasts five hours and includes short presentations on topics such as:

  • How does pharma R&D really work?
  • How are R&D projects and deals evaluated?
  • What are industry benchmarks of key R&D parameters like success rates, costs and duration per development phase?

Participants experience project successes and failures, and watch licensing deals produce value or write-offs. They therefore see the benefits and risks of going it alone vs. partnering in development, manufacturing, and marketing and sales. Risky Business is simultaneously a fun experience and a challenging team exercise, one that deepens strategic thinking and understanding across all functions and levels in pharmaceutical companies.

*Reception to follow.

Registration Pricing

Student/Postdoc Member$45
Nonmember (Academia)$95
Nonmember (Corporate)$95
Nonmember (Non-profit)$95
Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow)$65



  • Catenion



Florian Jehle

Partner, Catenion

Florian Jehle started his consulting career in 2002 at Theron, a strategy consulting boutique. In 2005, he joined Catenion.

Florian has worked on multiple projects for European and global pharmaceutical companies. As an interim manager he was responsible for the European launch preparation of a late-stage CNS compound. He has led large client teams at a leading global pharmaceutical company during an extensive Strategy and Therapy Area review and a decision analysis project for several clinical-stage compounds. He supported a global company in defining a market entry strategy for the biopharmaceutical market including a pre-selection of potential partners and licensing candidates. In the medical device industry, he has implemented Catenion's approach to portfolio management for the prioritization of early-stage as well as late-stage projects.

Florian holds a degree of wood science and economics from the University of Hamburg, Germany. Prior to his consulting career, he worked for companies in Germany, Singapore and the US.


Thomas Magaldi, PhD

The New York Academy of Sciences


  • Catenion

Travel & Lodging

Our Location

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New York, NY 10007-2157

Directions to the Academy

Hotels Near 7 World Trade Center

Recommended partner hotel

Club Quarters, World Trade Center
140 Washington Street
New York, NY 10006
Phone: 212.577.1133

The New York Academy of Sciences is a member of the Club Quarters network, which offers significant savings on hotel reservations to member organizations. Located opposite Memorial Plaza on the south side of the World Trade Center, Club Quarters, World Trade Center is just a short walk to the Academy.

Use Club Quarters Reservation Password NYAS to reserve your discounted accommodations online.

Other nearby hotels

Conrad New York


Millenium Hilton


Marriott Financial Center


Club Quarters, Wall Street


Eurostars Wall Street Hotel


Gild Hall, Financial District


Wall Street Inn


Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park