Member Matt Patterson Speaks: Regroup, Prioritize, Execute

The Challenge:

The case at hand involves a pharmaceutical CEO who recently brought in new funding by selling investors a specific business plan with multiple programs and milestones. Within months of closing financing, she realized the timeline was unrealistic and that some program goals were unachievable with the current funding.

If you were in this situation, what would you do?

Let me first say, we have all been in your shoes before. You do, however, have an added challenge since your investors are not pharma-savvy and aren’t used to delays in science. It’s important that you achieve value-generating milestone(s) with your current funding. If I were you, I would prioritize my resources to advance the program with the least risk to a compelling data milestone, which not only builds value but also establishes proof of concept that your scientific platform works.

Now is the time to make a new game plan. Think about a revised timeline, a singular program goal and how long the money will last. Prioritize your spending around that lowest risk program, and as soon as possible, continue to advance your plans for the other bigger market opportunities. But those are essentially on the back burner. When you succeed with your prioritized program, you will be able to articulate a vision and strategic plan to future investors to get more funding. For now, it’s time to go back to your original investors. Don’t do so without a revised plan and vision in mind. Sure, you have bad news to share. But you also have a plan to manage it. There’s an art form to communicating these setbacks and coming out unscathed. Navigating adversity is what leading is all about. Good luck!