Customer Case Study

Ipsen uses Inova's business development expertise to refine their processes and maximize their efficiency



The company

Founded in 1929, Ipsen is a global biopharmaceutical group dedicated to improving lives through innovative medicines in Oncology, Neuroscience and Rare Diseases. They also have a well-established and successful Consumer Healthcare business. Ipsen sells more than 20 drugs in 115 countries and have a direct commercial presence in over 30 countries worldwide. Ipsen’s 5,400 employees are based around the world, including 3 R&D centers and 8 industrial sites.

The challenge

Partnering is essential at Ipsen. The company’s strategy is to invest in business development to build an innovative and sustainable pipeline and to maintain the growth momentum of the business. Ipsen leverages innovative deal structures ranging from early to late-stage assets. Implementing new solutions to progress towards excellence in their partnering process is therefore key to Ipsen’s external innovation model.

The solution

To optimize their partnering activities, Ipsen first merged all their partnering teams, i.e. External Innovation, Corporate Business Development and Strategic Alliance Management, into one single department. In parallel, they looked for a common tool to support the team in the partnering process all along, from identification of partnering opportunities to alliance management. Inova appeared as the best off-the-shelf solution as it is tailored exactly to cover the end-to-end partnering process and can be implemented rapidly.

The benefits

Inova is now an essential part of Ipsen’s partnering process. It is not only a repository of all partnering activities, past and present, but also a tool fully integrated to the partnering process on an everyday basis thanks, for example, to its connections to Outlook, to key partnering conferences such as BIO, and to Clarivate. Information sharing and collaboration within the team are facilitated. Inova is also proving useful to support reporting thanks to its dashboarding functions.

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“Designing your own solution is really painful. What you think you need, isn’t necessarily what works in reality. Inova’s platform comes with business development best practices built-in, making it easy to adopt and use. Inova is truly designed for business developers, which is why so many biopharma companies use it.”

Frederic Scaerou
Frederic ScaerouHead of External Innovation Europe & Asia, Senior DirectorIpsen

The story

Ipsen is a global biopharmaceutical company currently going through a strong momentum of growth. In 2017, total sales exceeded €1.9bn with 75% growth in North America and double-digit growth in Europe. Global partnerships are critical to achieve this transformation and have become the most important driver in the next phase of growth.

The platform designed for biopharma business development

To support their partnering activities, Ipsen had already implemented an internally designed Sharepoint-based solution for all the partnering functions, External Innovation, Business Development and Alliance Management. However, this solution proved difficult to use and to tailor to everyone’s needs.
As a result, Ipsen evaluated a few external solutions and decided that Inova was the best fit to their needs. Ipsen looked for a plug and play tool featuring industry best practices.

Expert advice and support from Inova’s Customer Success Managers

Having decided to use Inova, the implementation work quickly started. Inova’s Customer Success Managers collaborated closely with Ipsen to adjust Inova’s partnering solution to be a perfect fit and to help Ipsen reassess their processes and requirements.

"The Inova Team has a huge amount of expertise in creating efficient partnering processes. Thanks to them, we have improved and refined our processes and the way we work,"

Frederic Scaerou
Frederic ScaerouHead of External Innovation Europe & Asia, Senior Director

Better collaboration, all over the world

By using Inova, the Ipsen Business Development team can easily work together despite being spread across the globe, with offices in the US, Europe and Asia. Additionally, they collaborate better with other externally facing teams, including the Primary Care and M&A teams. For example, the Business Development team shares with the M&A team what they know about other companies, such as their history of interactions and why they chose not to pursue an opportunity. The M&A team, on the other hand, alerts the Business Development team to any interesting opportunities they come across. As a result, both teams work faster and with higher quality information sharing.
Furthermore, the Business Development team is planning to use Inova to improve how they communicate about their activities with the rest of the company.

"Inova changes the way we do Business Development. It helps us to better communicate and report on what we do as a team. We can quickly create and share reports on our activities, such as the number of opportunities we are looking at, the key decision-making steps, what meetings have taken place and more. It’s a must-have for us now,"

Frederic Scaerou
Frederic ScaerouHead of External Innovation Europe & Asia, Senior Director

This reporting will also enable the Business Development team to further boost their process efficiency. They can analyze information such as how many deals they signed, how many opportunities they looked at to achieve that many deals, how long it took them to make a decision, the efficiency of their triage in terms of percentage and time, and more. Equipped with such information, they can easily highlight areas for improvement and maximize their impact.

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Why our customers love Inova


Inova bridges the challenge of two externally-facing function within AstraZeneca, R&D and Business Development, and gets them operating in a seamless fashion: the right hand knows what the left hand is doing.

Helen SmithBusiness Operations Manager

We use Inova as our exclusive tool for BD&L project management and reporting, resulting in high quality data and deal flow. We enjoy working with Inova’s experts and solutions, they continue to exceed our expectations.

Cornelius KurzGlobal Project Manager BD&L

I wanted a solution for my Technology Scouting team that required minimal IT involvement. The BD and AM teams were already using Inova and happy with it. I am very glad we also chose Inova, it’s intuitive and easy-to-use.

Janet HallidayAssociate Vice President, FCT & External Technologies

Inova has enabled Lilly to standardize processes, enable more consistent data across the entire External Innovation community and place data more directly into the hands of business development leadership.

Darren CarrollSenior Vice President, Corporate Business Development
Novo Nordisk

Inova is built exactly for what we do, pharma partnering. It helps us work together as one company.

Neil AndersonSearch & Evaluation Director

Inova puts the information I need at my fingertips, helping me decide which partner is the best fit for my product portfolio.

Claudio VeronesiEuropean Distributors Business Manager

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