Lessons Learned in Creating and Maintaining a Vibrant Drug Discovery Alliance Portfolio

Research alliances are critical to the success of many discovery-stage therapeutic programs. A discovery alliance portfolio typically consists of a blend of academic, strategic academic, and pharma/biotech partnerships. These types of partnerships have common themes and unique challenges, and range in complexity from sponsored academic research to complex multi-program discovery alliances that evolve into co-development collaborations. All of them need some level of alliance management support, from a "light touch" to a fully dedicated alliance manager.

Building on best practices learned from the ASAP community, the presenters will share how they created agile frameworks to help the BD, scientific, and alliance teams work together to establish and run new partnerships. Instituting these processes has enabled better strategic decision making and enhanced value creation from the alliance portfolio.

This interactive presentation will help attendees:


Regina Lemus, PhD
Manager, GI Drug Discovery Unit, Alliance Management

Regina is an alliance and project manager in the gastroenterology drug discovery unit at Takeda. She manages early discovery stage alliances and projects with an emphasis on academic alliances.

To drive strategic decision-making across the academic alliance portfolio, Regina works with scientific teams to articulate a clear value proposition for their alliances. She provides support throughout the alliance lifecycle, helping teams to negotiate, kick off, execute, and wind down academic alliances.

Regina received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California, Davis in 2009. Prior to joining Takeda in 2021, she spent over 10 years driving collaborative academic research projects as a neuroscientist at Scripps Research.

Jen Rice, PhD
Associate Director, R&D Business Development

Jen is associate director of business development in Takeda Pharmaceutical Company’s Center for External Innovation. At Takeda, Jen supports the gastroenterology (GI) therapeutic area unit through the sourcing of innovation and execution of collaboration and licensing deals that build the foundation for Takeda’s GI drug discovery and development pipeline.

Before joining Takeda, Jen spent nearly a decade supporting commercialization of academic innovations – most recently serving as director of business development at Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development (OTD). At Harvard Jen worked with investigators and entrepreneurs to patent, market, and license their inventions, as well as establish strategic partnerships with industry and support new company creation. Prior to Harvard, Jen held the position of technology manager and special programs manager in the office of technology management at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she managed the university’s life sciences patent portfolio and helped establish a gap funding program called the Illinois Proof of Concept (I-POC) Fund.

Jen received her B.A. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Boston University and her Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kristin Rosner, CA-AM, PhD
Global Alliance Management Lead

Kristin joined the Takeda Gastroenterology Drug Discovery Unit (GI DDU) team in December 2019 as the head of GI DDU alliance management to oversee the discovery alliance portfolio. In addition to overseeing the portfolio, she manages some of the GI DDU's largest alliances and coaches her colleagues on alliance management best practices. She had previously been at X-Chem where she established its alliance and program management function. Working with the scientific team, she developed many of X-Chem's alliance management foundational processes and procedures.

Kristin spent the early part of her career working as a team lead and medicinal chemist, in biotech and pharma companies in Cambridge MA. Her first exposure to alliance management was as an "accidental alliance manager" on the Neogensis and Schering-Plough collaboration in the early 2000s when she was a project lead in the collaboration.

Kristin received her BS in chemistry from the University of Vermont and her PhD in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has been a member of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals for many years and earned her CA-AM certification in 2019.