Course Identification

Practical Aspects of Innovative Pharma and Biotech Business

Lecturers and Teaching Assistants

Dr. Avri Havron

Course Schedule and Location

Second Semester
Wednesday, 09:15 - 11:00, FGS, Rm A

Field of Study, Course Type and Credit Points

Life Sciences: Lecture; Elective; 1.00 points
Chemical Sciences: Lecture; Elective; 1.00 points
Life Sciences (Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Track): Lecture; Elective; 1.00 points


*For PhD students only*
*The last 2 lectures, on 5/7/2017 and 12/7/2017 will consist of 135 minutes instead of 90 minutes- will be held at FGS room B.


No special prerequisites are needed. Students having the following background can join the course.

  • BSc or BE in one of the following: biology, chemistry, pharmacy, agriculture, biotechnology, chemical engineering, biotechnology engineering, food engineering,
  • MD, DVM, DDM


For PhD students only

Language of Instruction


Attendance and participation


Grade Type

Pass / Fail

Grade Breakdown (in %)


Evaluation Type

Final assignment

Scheduled date 1


Estimated Weekly Independent Workload (in hours)



The course is appropriate for PhD students in chemistry and life sciences who contemplate possible careers in the pharamceutics and biotech industry and who seek to deepen their understanding of the relevant business context. The course provides perspective on the evolving landscape of pharma and bio-technology from the standpoint of new entrepreneurial companies. It focuses on changes and challenges in the industry, as well as opportunities for startups and new entrants. 

The course provides insights through a range of approaches and materials, including readings, cases, lectures, outside speakers, and class discussion.  The course meets once a week in a two-hour session.

The written assignments include one of the following:

-        an assessment of an existing or  novel biotech business

-        case write-ups

-        a final paper that pursues one of the course topics (your choice) in depth

-        Presentation of a new proposed start-up

The assignments can be written and submitted jointly with another student. All assignments will be presented to the class during the last 2-3 meetings (pending number of participants),

NOTE:  There will be no final exam in this course. 



  • Class 1 - Introduction  
  • Class 2 - Overview of the Biotech Industry and supporting services
  • Class 3 – Development Process of a new chemical or biological drug
  • Class 4 - Development Process of a new medical device
  • Class 5 -  Pre-Clinical Development 
  • Class 6 - Clinical Development 
  • Class 7 –  Regulatory development 
  • Class 8 –   Building a start-up (business plan, strategy)
  • Class 9 –  What Do We Want to Be? Business Models & Business Development
  • Class10 -  Financing th early stage healthcare company
  • Class 11 - National Incubator Program
  • Class 12 - The Role of Universities and Technology Transfer Offices
  • Class 13 -  Intellectual Property 
  • Class  14, 15 ,16 – Presentations of studens' assignments


In this concluding classes, students will present findings from their final paper.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course- students should be able to:

  1. Critically review various aspects and plans related to the development of their future career within a company they'll join or consider founding.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of what are the key success factors for a life-science company utilizing  innovative technology.
  3. Demonstrate familiarity with the development process of a new drug or a device, the pre-clinical and clinical development. Economical aspects such as business models, increasing valuation and fund raising methodologies will be discussed. Contract work, Business development and partnering, intellectual property, the importance of team work and "crisis management" will be addressed.

Reading List

  1. Bioentrepreneur - Nature Biotechnology’s monthly portal dedicated to scientists interested in commercializing their research
  2. BioWorld Today - Daily news from the biotech industry publishe 5 times a week by Thomson Reuters'.
  3. BIO SmartBrief - Biotechnology Inonnvation Organization daily update
  4. FierceBiotech - The biotech industry daily monitor