The Client Opportunity
A major chemical company had developed a number of potentially viable polymer products with life sciences applications. The company’s health care ventures unit was researching some unique opportunities in the biomedical field and needed experienced, senior people with industry knowledge, which was not available in house. Specifically, the company was looking into forming an orthopedic business and a neurosurgery business and needed assistance formulating and structuring the new business lines.
The Ashton Tweed Solution
To assist this client, Ashton Tweed deployed both its consulting capabilities and the interim executive resources in the Executive Talent Bank. Ashton Tweed partner Jordan Warshafsky has extensive operational experience within life sciences, enabling him to counsel the company’s management on developing an effective human capital strategy and identifying areas where executive talent was needed. Ashton Tweed carefully evaluated the company’s needs and placed two interim executives with experience in the neurosurgical business to educate the company’s management about how to best develop a new life sciences business.
The senior management of the chemical company was unfamiliar with the unique challenges of the high risk high return life sciences business cycle and expert guidance was vital from the earliest stages of the new business development. One interim executive placed by Ashton Tweed shared her expertise in the drug delivery of polymers for oncological applications in neurosurgery. The other interim executive had extensive expertise in the field of medical devices.
The use of interim executive talent proved to be a key factor in enabling the client to conduct market research with neurosurgeons. The Ashton Tweed Leadership Team also remained personally involved with the client throughout the business development process by consulting with the company management to design the best organization structure from both a scientific and business perspective. Their hands-on approach resulted in the formulation of two business plans for the client to consider.
The company’s incoming general manager expressed gratitude for Ashton Tweed’s work saying, “What has been valuable to the company is the breadth and depth of Ashton Tweed’s Executive Talent Bank. We are using them as a resource for consultants and permanent placement. We have also found that they are well recognized in the regional investment community, which has been important as we are now examining spin-out opportunities for some of our technologies.”
Ashton Tweed partners and Executive Talent Bank interim executives assisted in the creation of the business process for an orthopedic and a neurosurgery business. The orthopedic business is currently being formed as a new company. It will develop, gain market approval (FDA clearance, insurance reimbursement, physicians’ acceptance) and license an alginate-based implantable medical device that uses a bio-reabsorbable technology.