The CEO-Led Journey

Jeff leads Appleseed Biotech's transaction cycle with OutMatch


Jeff is the experienced CEO of Appleseed Biotech, a promising clinical-stage company. The veteran of several company financings, he has learned how to create a competitive dynamic including the time and effort that goes into a well-run deal cycle.

Jeff feels motivated to realize the full potential value of the assets in Appleseed’s pipeline, as well as transact on a favorable timeline. And while Jeff has previously worked with bankers and consultants in ways that sometimes led to good results, he was just as often disappointed.

For one simple reason: nobody will care about Appleseed and its patient mission as much as he does.

Jeff believed that if he had more opportunity for involvement in his own deal cycles, even led them personally, he’d have a better outcome. So Jeff resolved to set the banks and consultants to one side and lead Appleseed’s licensing cycle himself.

It’s all about the relationships

Industry veteran and current Executive Chairman of Gossamer Bio, Faheem Hasnain Faheem Hasnain , had a similarly formative experience that he detailed at BIO 2017:

“I got a call from our banker; ‘expect to see an offer tomorrow in this really nice range.’” The deal fell through the next day. Hasnain explained the failure:

“The company was a black box to me because I allowed my banker to actually deal with the company.” And he hadn’t formed relationships with the senior officials of the company—people he could have called upon to try and salvage the deal.

Hasnain never made the same mistake again. “It’s all about the relationships,” he said.

Where the banks and consultants often fall short

Bankers and consultants typically have access and established relationships with companies. This can have minor benefits, but Jeff’s experience to date led him to believe that these companies don’t really transact for relationships. They transact for value they can understand and which aligns with their strategic priorities.

A relationship can be formed by a passionate CEO like Jeff by speaking to the value of his asset in a clear way. MotionHall can help him with this.

Taking control of the deal cycle with OutMatch

The next main question for Jeff now that he’s resolved to lead his own process is— how does he open the right doors?

“How do I figure out how to talk to the right people? To bring them the right message to move my deal forward?” Jeff asked.

Jeff’s explorations of OutMatch, MotionHall’s out-licensing workspace, gave him a clear picture of the market composition for his partnering and licensing deal. By understanding the key attributes of each partner—strategic priorities, pipeline, scientific synergies, key connections—Jeff’s team, with MotionHall’s analysts by their side, determined the right strategic message for outreach.

To bring his preferred companies the right message, Jeff knew he needed to start reputation building early, many months in advance, and methodically sequence his approaches to both understand the market and drive the competitive dynamic.

“OutMatch has the contextual details I need to understand how to position my asset and navigate a company to ensure the right people understand the value we bring them.” Jeff now approaches his candidates in the most proactive way possible. As he says, “with jobs, dollars, and patients at stake, there’s no room for a half-measured approach.”

The MotionHall analyst team worked with Jeff and the Appleseed team to scale the approach process. “They particularly helped us with precision-tailored presentations and email outreach.”

As Jeff moved through his cycle he found that, with careful tailoring and a thoughtfully-positioned message, building relationships in biopharma was easier than he thought. “The conversations were high-quality, and I will keep many of these relationships for life.”

Takeaways from Jeff’s first self-led deal cycle

Jeff had some tense moments and difficult choices in completing his first self-led deal cycle. But the experience was rewarding in so many ways:

  • • Jeff managed his relationships personally.
  • • He gained network capital for Appleseed Biotech.
  • • His team ensured their product was getting to a company among the most capable to bring it to market.

Appleseed drove good deal terms to keep their company in a position to build into the future. Jeff ultimately gave the patients he’s built a career around serving their best chance at a life-changing treatment.

Now that Jeff has gone through this process once, he’ll be expecting to run all his deals personally for Appleseed. This is because he truly understands the value of personal ownership of his relationships and the risk-reduction that his own hand in the process can bring.

The names of people and organizations have been anonymized.

An extraordinary approach to effective partnering.