Session 503
Born Open: How Small BioPharma Can Race Up the Alliance Learning Curve

Small biopharma companies often have the benefit of strategic agility and process flexibility. They can build advantage over big pharma when it comes to a strategic function like alliance management—be more focused, more flexible, and often learn faster. For many small companies, alliances are critical to success and central to business sustainability, not an afterthought.

In this interactive session, explore how smaller biopharma companies can race up the learning curve and master alliance strategy quickly. Drawing on a live case study, see when the best practices of big pharma apply to smaller companies, and when they don't. This workshop format invites the sharing of experiences in group discussions.

Whether in a small company or not, come away with new and practical insights. Learn how to:


J. Alan Butcher
Executive Vice President & Chief Business Officer
AMAG Pharmaceuticals

Alan Butcher serves as AMAG's executive vice president and chief business officer. He joined AMAG in April 2018 and brings more than 20 years of extensive technical, scientific, strategic, and business development experience from large and medium-sized pharmaceutical companies. He joins AMAG from Purdue Pharma where he served as senior vice president, licensing and business development. Prior to Purdue, he led a global business development team and was responsible for identifying, evaluating and negotiating expansion opportunities at Shire Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Butcher holds a Bachelor's of Science in Clinical Microbiology and a Master's of Science in Biology with a concentration in Molecular Biology and Genetics from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. He is also a graduate of Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Ben Gomes-Casseres, CSAP
Author & Professor
Brandeis University

BEN GOMES-CASSERES has worked on alliance strategy for 30 years. His latest book is Remix Strategy: The Three Laws of Business Combinations (Harvard Business Review Press, 2015); it won the Axiom Books Silver Prize in Economics. His book The Alliance Revolution pioneered the idea of alliance constellations, and Mastering Alliance Strategy provides best practices in all aspects of alliance management.

Ben is a professor at Brandeis University, where he directs the MBA program and the Asper Center for Global Entrepreneurship. Previously he was at Harvard Business School and, prior to that, an economist at the World Bank. He has published five books and many articles and case studies.

Ben consults widely with companies seeking to create value from external resources. He has worked with Bayer, Syngenta, Daimler, General Electric, Chevron, and speaks regularly at ASAP and The Conference Board. He holds degrees from Harvard, Princeton, and Brandeis. A native of CuraƧao, he speaks four languages. His work is at

Hélène Svahnqvist
Senior Director, Alliance Management
AMAG Pharmaceuticals

Hélène is an Alliance Management professional with a broad cross-functional background spanning from sales, marketing, medico-marketing, and clinical operations to the pharmaceutical, biotech and management consulting business.Hélène is heading up the Alliance Management function at AMAG. In the 18 plus years of her professional career she has held positions with increased responsibility, including being Head of International Marketing and Sales at Biora, Director of Global Clinical Operations, and Customer Excellence at Biogen. She has also, among other companies, worked for Johnson & Johnson, and Novo Nordisk.

Hélène has driven implementation of customer focus and patient-centricy in the development arena as well as launched several new medicines to patients. She has hands-on work experiences from Europe, US and Asia.

In addition to Alliance Management, Hélène is considered a Subject Matter Expert in patient recruitment and retention, presenting at conferences. She also enjoys doing ad-hoc cultural trainings for executives to share her knowledge and experience of being a worldly-citizen.

Hélène holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Marketing from University of South Carolina and an MBA from School of Economics and Management from Lund's University (Sweden).