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C-suite survey uncovers life sciences challenges

For more than three-quarters (78%) of C-level respondents in the life sciences sector, identifying relevant investors with an active investment mandate is one of the main hurdles to securing financing, according to the LSX C-Suite Challenges in Life Sciences Survey 2018. Even when relevant investors are identified, 42% of respondents find it difficult to secure meetings with them and 35% of respondents have trouble successfully developing and communicating their company’s story and investment case.

Respondents also fear that another financing obstacle may arise for UK life sciences companies; 62% of respondents believe that Brexit will have a significant negative impact on attracting investment to the UK, and 40% of respondents are worried about access to alternative funding sources following the UK’s departure from the European Union.

These are just some of the findings from the inaugural LSX C-Suite Challenges in Life Sciences Survey, which benchmarks the barriers senior executives encounter through key stages in the product and company development process. The report provides a snapshot of C-level executives’ strategic concerns with the hope of prompting discussion about the steps that can be taken to remedy them.

When it comes to deal-making activities, strategic alignment is the attribute that respondents desire in a potential partnership (74%), followed by strong relationships and a good cultural fit (52%). While an effective working relationship nears the top of respondents’ partnering wish lists, 40% of respondents say that finding a partner with whom they can build such a relationship is among the top three deal-making obstacles they face.

For clinical trials, patient recruitment is seen as a key challenge by 55% of respondents, with speed (48%), and cost control and efficiencies (40%) not far behind. The report also examines C-level executives’ views on issues ranging from talent attraction and retention to the advance of new technologies. More than half (52%) of respondents think that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will have the most-far reaching impact on healthcare, while regulatory approval (28%) and payer buy in (26%) are seen as the biggest barriers to the advance of new technologies in the sector.

The report is based on an online survey of 127 senior life sciences executives and 10 telephone interviews. In addition to the survey findings and analysis, the report features insights and commentary from a range of industry experts.

The report is kindly supported by lead sponsor Covance® and Chiltern, a Covance company®, and by law firm CMS, and intellectual property firm Marks & Clerk.

Terry O’Dwyer, Co-CEO, said: “We are pleased to present these survey findings to the life sciences community, which reinforce some long-standing issues raised by the C-suite and uncover new insights into their product and company development experiences. We look forward to facilitating further discussion about the challenges leaders face and how the industry can work together to address these, supporting continued sector growth and opportunities for innovation.”  

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