Session 202
A Case Study: How to Turn a Spin-off into a High-performance Alliance

Spinning-out a company is always a challenging and ambitious task but can be more complex if the new organization's assets and IP are from a pharmaceutical business and a charity. And when the spin-off wanted to partner with the charity involved, a higher level of innovative thinking and flexibility was necessary to transform the previous relationship into a successful strategic alliance.

iOnctura, a clinical stage biotechnology company, was founded in June 2017 as a spin-out from Merck that included a pipeline of assets licensed from Merck and Cancer Research UK (CRUK). The CRUK-iOnctura strategic alliance model was implemented thanks to a creative and dedicated deal making team with a forward-looking vision.

iOnctura's COO and the CRUK alliance manager will share their experiences and provide practical insights about how the spin-out company model was built and strategically developed into a high-performing alliance.

This session will focus on:


Beatrice Lana, CA-AM, PhD
Strategic Alliance Executive
Cancer Research UK

Beatrice is a Strategic Alliance Executive at Cancer Research UK. She joined the CRUK's Commercial Partnerships team in 2018 to provide best-in-class alliance management to drive, support and expand CRUK's innovative portfolio of strategic commercial alliances. Beatrice has played a key role in maintaining and progressing the CRUK-iOnctura alliance and more recently to establish the new launched CRUK-Abcam partnership. Before that Beatrice worked as Commercialisation Executive at Queen Mary Innovation, where she acquired expertise in opportunity sourcing and business development, leading on the translation of early stage research projects into therapeutic, diagnostic and research development technologies.

Lars van der Veen
Chief Operating Officer

Lars is COO of iOnctura. He holds a PhD in homogeneous catalysis (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam. He is an experienced project and alliance manager with demonstrated leadership in pre-clinical and clinical development. He has managed >25 alliances for in-licensed and out-licensed products of both biologics and small molecules, driving governance, delivery of results and issue resolution.

As a medicinal chemist and team leader he delivered clinical candidates and lead compounds for different therapeutic areas including oncology. He brings a wide network in academia and c-levels in biotech. Lars has previously worked at Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Organon, Boehringer-Ingelheim and Merck.