Partnering in a Pandemic for a Pandemic

Building and maintaining successful alliances is difficult, even in normal circumstances, but the added complexities of a global pandemic have impacted the entire alliance ecosystem, from large-scale alliances to smaller collaborations to relationships with suppliers and contractors. Alliance management has had to adapt to support partnering in a uniquely virtual and dynamic environment–and at a "pandemic pace." What will alliance managers learn and retain from this experience to ensure that new and existing partnerships continue to thrive, grow, and succeed?

In this session, the presenters will discuss outcomes and lessons learned from often-overlooked early-stage research collaborations, nontraditional alliances, and other collaborations, as well as how the adoption of technology can drive a greater impact with both internal stakeholders and external alliances.

Key takeaways will include:


Mary Beth Campbell, PhD
Director of Alliance Management
Vir Biotechnology

Mary Beth is presently a director of alliance management at Vir Biotechnology and is a PhD physicist by training with experience across technology transfer, business development, and alliance management. At Vir, she is responsible for a portfolio of exploratory and early-stage research collaborations with academia, non-profit organizations, and biotech partners. Prior to joining Vir in 2021, Mary Beth led the Corporate Partnerships team at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where she was responsible for developing, maintaining, and augmenting research partnerships and strategic relationships between Caltech and industry collaborators. She began her career in science policy, focusing on innovation policy and program evaluation.

A registered U.S. Patent Agent, Campbell was awarded the 2013 Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) Howard Bremer Scholarship for new technology transfer professionals. Mary Beth was a national defense science and engineering graduate fellow while earning her PhD in applied physics from Harvard University.

Ravi Kolla, PhD
Senior Director of Alliance Management
Vir Biotechnology

Ravi is presently a senior director of alliance management at Vir Biotechnology and is a PhD immunologist by training with experience across drug development research, project management, business development, and alliance management. Ravi has worked in the fields of infectious disease, oncology, autoimmunity and inflammation and has supported the spectrum of early research through commercial collaborations throughout his 15 plus year career. In his present role focused on early-stage research and early clinical collaboration, Ravi leads numerous alliances with large pharma, non-profit organizations, US Government agencies, and academic partners to curate the breadth and depth of the Vir portfolio.

As the practice of bringing drugs to patients increasingly hinges on successful collaboration, Ravi relies on his scientific training, and service on both sides of large pharma and smaller biotech organizations and startups to culture a goal-oriented, open and honest relationship between partners to make clear and help realize all short and long-term objectives of a collaboration.