Dealmaking in the Time of COVID-19

Pinecone Biotech’s CBO runs a thoughtful, systematic, and data-driven process during a time of crisis


The novel coronavirus has driven partnering conversations to digital platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Dealmakers, who used to count on gathering information and building trust in person, have had to adapt to a new reality.

Pinecone Biotech’s CBO, Aiko, is among these adaptive dealmakers. She’s looking to transact her company’s lead asset. Aiko is aiming to make the most impact during her video calls by efficiently showing the potential buyer the value and organizational fit of her asset.

Remote strategizing is easier with MotionHall’s OutMatch

Aiko’s potential partners are identified and rank-ordered in her OutMatch workspace. Her approach begins with contacting the lower-ranking companies. This strategy allows her to hear questions and concerns from the market in lower-stakes meetings.

“Many of these early targets are quite hungry for a deal,” says Aiko, “so I do collect term sheets along the way. This helps me drive up competition for our asset.”

Aiko analyzes the Scientific Synergies that MotionHall detects at each company. She understands it’s necessary to be able to communicate the science behind her asset and how it fits with the science of her prospective partners. The Scientific Synergies tool also helps her identify the scientists from other companies that she and her team need to speak with. It’s a way OutMatch is part of her process to ensure Pinecone’s asset is understood and valued by all potential partners.

Aiko has been preparing over the past two months:

  • • Refining her pitches on low-stakes partners.
  • • Driving interest toward the product.
  • • Tailoring her materials to each preferred partner.

She’s ready to approach the most consequential players.

Final preparations

Aiko uses OutMatch’s Key Contacts to familiarize herself with the company’s major decision makers. She reaches out to these stakeholders to be sure she knows exactly how to explain where her product fits within the company’s science, marketed portfolio, and pipeline. These one-on-one video calls help her plan her approach during the larger meetings.

Despite the inability to meet in person, Aiko built relationships with individual stakeholders. She ran a sophisticated process that pulled multiple parties to her deal. Dealmakers on the other side of the table recognize that they could lose out if they don’t move quickly or offer competitive terms. Aiko’s all-remote negotiations land her a deal with one of her preferred partners.

The names of people and organizations have been anonymized.

An extraordinary approach to effective partnering.