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Monash Careers Seminar: Biotech Project Manager Emma Ball BSc (Hons), PhD, MBA 14 Sept 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Monash Careers Seminar: Biotech Project Manager Emma Ball BSc (Hons), PhD, MBA 14 Sept 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Monash Careers Seminar: Biotech Project Manager Emma Ball BSc (Hons), PhD, MBA 14 Sept 2005

2 Agenda Background on my current company & role How I got there (reverse order) Biotech industry Advice for new players

3 Prima Biomed Ltd ASX listed company (PRR) Immunotherapeutics: oncology focus, some infections disease & rheumatoid arthritis Multiple projects: Phase II clinical trial to early stage research & development Virtual management company (sub-contract, outsource) Technologies from Austin Research Institute Many high profile partners AstraZeneca Biomira Zymogenetics Xencor Medarex Universities: Monash & Melbourne

4 Prima Biomed CancerVac phase II ovarian Ca trial Arthron preclinical RA therapies Panvax preclinical Ca & ID vaccine Oncomab preclinical Ca antibody Organisational Overview

5 Prima Biomed BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Marcus Clark Business Development & IP Manager Vanessa Waddell Business Development & IP Assistant Larisa Chisholm Project Manager Dr Emma Ball Prima Biomed Ltd Management Structure

6 Project Manager’s Role (June 2004 – current) Milestones are met & projects run to budget Coordinate all parties involved in operations (e.g. scientists, manufacturers, service providers, consultants, contractors) Development & implementation of product development strategies Construct R&D plans & budgets Technical review committees, scientific advisory panel Liaise with business development to develop and implement new projects Liaise with IP management to ensure patent protection Communicate to management, board and external stakeholders

7 Pros & Cons Cons Keeping scientists focused on timelines & budget Juggling multiple projects & responsibilities Juggling multiple relationships Managing competing projects Pressures of being listed & reporting Pros Interact with great scientists & science, without having to do it Exposed to multiple projects & responsibilities Making many contacts Exposed many technologies and multiple aspects of product development paths Exposed to commerce & finance.

8 How did I get there?

9 MBA ( ) Was highly technically specialised Needed to learn more general skills Understand a new language Not feel intimidated in a room full of suits Meet new people from varied industries

10 Commercial Role at Monash ( ) Project Manager, Prostate Diagnostics: Monash spin-out company Interaction with MonComm & Commercial world (AusBiotech, Bio) Connections & Mentors Stood out from other scientists by doing something slightly different Started with an interest in patenting research 2001

11 Academic Role at Monash ( ) Post-doc Mentored by Gail Risbridger: strong female role model, highly supportive Needed another challenge: could do the science but needed something else

12 RMH ( ) Worked with Urologists Learned about clinical aspects of science Applied for jobs at Lonely Planet, Australian Australian Volunteers Abroard etc etc – anything to get away from science Experience was invaluable (hindsight)

13 PhD (RMH & RCH) ( ) BAD Took too long Isolating experience At the end, confidence shattered, no direction GOOD Would not have changed anything! Made some great friends Learned how to do good science in a clinical environment Learned independence & persistence

14 BSc(hons) ( ) Melbourne Uni Majored in Genetics Honours at RCH No clear career goals or direction

15 Current Role & Future Goals 34 years old: career just beginning Happy in current company: many possibilities Don’t know what’s in store, well positioned to make a move when it is appropriate Business development then CEO role (?) May seek experience in another industry, will probably gravitate back to biotech

16 mid – late 1990s Was interested by science but did not want to be a scientist Did not know what other career options were available other than bench or lecturing Australia seemed like a black hole

17 2005……… Biotech / pharma industry in Australia is growing Many more local opportunities, varied roles The world is becoming smaller, a truly global industry A way to go yet, opportunity to ride the wave

18 Biotech Industry Difficult, complex industry Few successful models Need to be a jack-of-all-trades and a specialist simultaneously (education & experience) High level of uncertainty Pressures of being listed Probably earn better $ sooner in another industry

19 Biotech Industry Exciting & dynamic industry Great people Industry is crying out for talent Plenty of opportunities You are in the right place at the right time!

20 Advice It is OK not to have a plan, proviso: Ensure you a good at what you are doing at the time & approach your work with enthusiasm Be visible in your organisation Forge links with the outside world, talk about your work. Be prepared to take risks & extend yourself Work out what makes you different & build on that If you are lucky enough to have a plan, work out how you can make small incremental steps to get there Seek mentors & champions Remember where you have come from & be prepared to help others, share your networks

21 CONTACT DETAILS: T: F:


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