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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Technical and Commercial Due Diligence in Biotech Transactions: Doing the Right Things and Doing them Right

This article argues that conducting due diligence properly to ensure that potential risks and opportunities in biotechnology transactions are fully understood is more important than ever as M&A and technology licensing activities accelerate. There are many ways to go about conducting due diligence, and the factors that determine the right way to proceed are discussed, with the pros and cons set out for taking an in-house approach, versus hiring external consultants. Whatever approach is taken, a due diligence plan is vital, given the often short timescales in which deals need to be closed. Keys to success are ensuring that an independent view is taken and that the right questions are asked, such that the answers truly help to support the investment decision. Due diligence can be an intensive and time-consuming process so the task should not be underestimated or left to the last minute - while it has costs in terms of time or professional fees, cutting corners can turn out to be far more costly.

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By Simon Shohet, Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences Consulting Team at Cambridge Consultants Ltd

Simon Shohet has been a strategic and commercial advisor and analyst for organisations in the biotechnology and health care industry for over 12 years. Presently, he leads the Healthcare and Life Sciences Consulting team at Cambridge Consultants Ltd (CCL), a sister company of the international management consulting firm Arthur D Little. His team works for European, US and Asia-Pacific-based corporations as well as start-ups and government agencies, helping them to gain competitive advantage through strategic exploitation of life science and biomedical technologies. Before entering consulting he held posts at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) as a Biotechnology Policy Adviser and London Business School as a Research Fellow in technology economics. He holds a PhD in Microbiology from University College London, and a BSc from the University of Edinburgh. Simon has published numerous papers and articles in management and scientific literature.

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