Selecting the Right Biotech Company to Work For in Five Easy Steps
Biotech companies are often funded by investors, including wealthy individuals, angel groups, VCs, pharmaceutical companies, and universities. Players in the biotech industry associate high-quality biotech companies with the credibility of the main investors that support them. You can identify major investors of each biotech company in two ways. First, take a look at the company website; oftentimes a member of the main investor group will have at least one seat on the board of directors of the company. Second, the major investors are listed as leads on financial websites. One that I have found useful in the past is crunchbase.com.
2. Financial Status
Biotech companies with capital resources equal stability for your job. You want to see that the prospective employers have raised significant funds within the past few years and are expecting to receive additional capital in the near future. Another indication that a given biotech company will gain financial support is the positive clinical data reported in a spontaneous fashion I recommend following leading biotech news and sources such as Fiercebiotech or Biocentury to determine the financial status of any prospective employer in biotech.
3. Management and Leadership Team
The individuals who are leading the organization are the face of the company and will often dictate whether or not the company will advance to the next stage. Investors will also evaluate the leadership team to determine the possibility of a startup's success. Most prosperous biotech companies feature management and leadership teams with diverse backgrounds who work well together as a team. Teams should be made up of a combination of individuals with scientific, commercial, strategy, financial, and management expertise with experience from both academics and industry. One red flag for a leadership team is having a company with a lot of turnover. This can indicate that the organization has either internal leadership or technical issues that the leadership team cannot agree on. Poke around the company website, LinkedIn, and the biotech sources I mentioned above to gain insight into the leadership team. The most important question you should ask yourself is “Would you trust your future in these people’s hands?”
4. Diversified Assets
An ideal biotech company to work for would have multiple candidates at different clinical stages (Ph1-4) in the pipeline. Commercial products would provide financial support for the company while early-stage assets offer sustained discovery work for early-career scientists. Assets should target multiple indications in case one clinical trial fails. An expanded pipeline of multiple assets also provides additional opportunities for you to move into different functions within the biotech company. You can find more information about the company’s pipeline on its website or Biocentury.
5. Future Exit Outlook