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The workflow is used to establish a common business process for all opportunities in the pipeline. It keeps business development and other team members aligned in how they evaluate and make decisions on opportunities and supports accurate reporting. Based on best practices gathered from working with  our clients over the years, Inova has developed the following standard BD workflow:


Initial Screening: The S&E team picks up a new opportunity and reviews whatever information is available about the company and opportunity pre-CDA, e.g. company presentations, non-confidential package provided by the potential partner,  notes taken during meetings at conferences, publicly available information on the web such as press releases and journal publications. Along with all the rest of the new opportunities, the S&E team runs a triage meeting to decide if they will decline the opportunity or move ahead into a deeper evaluation. Key criteria for them to move forward: Is the opportunity a strategic fit? If S&E decides to move ahead, they sign a CDA with the other company and move to the next stage in the process. In companies with a dedicated S&E group, at this stage, S&E transfer the opportunity to the BD team for the confidential evaluation.

Confidential Evaluation: With the CDA in hand, the BD team now has more information about the opportunity including test/clinical trials results, efficacy/drug safety data, market fit, and company financials. In this deep dive, the team checks whether the opportunity is feasible financially, market-wise, and competition-wise. Based on the results of the analysis, the team meets to decide whether to move the opportunity into Due Diligence. The team may also draft an initial version of the term sheet.         

Due Diligence: This is an extensive effort in which the BD team--or a separate Due Diligence team--gets experts to investigate, do analysis, review documentation, and provide input about the opportunity in specific areas: Scientific expertise, investment / forecasting (finance), IP infringements / investigation (legal). The goal is to identify risks or red flags. Participating experts are primarily internal but can include people external to the company, such as consultants. These experts will share documents and respond to specific questions about the opportunity that are related to their area of expertise. At the end of the process, the team will meet to make a final decision and produce a report with their findings.

Negotiation: Assuming the outcome of Due Diligence is positive and the decision on both sides is to move forward, the team will work on contract negotiations. This will involve the BD team as well as legal, finance, and the transaction team who will draft the agreement.  If the term sheet was created early in the process and the due diligence stage revealed some details that could impact those terms, then the agreement would include any changes or amendments to reflect this new information.

Contracting: In the last stage of the process, the agreement will be finalized by both parties and signed. This is often also the point at which the BD team will begin transferring information about the opportunity to the alliance management team, who will take over once the final agreement is signed.

If you have any questions or would like to implement this workflow on your platform to benefit your business development organization, contact your Inova Customer Success Manager.