Our Clients & Testimonials

What our Clients say

“We found Catenion’s approach to be scientifically rigorous, and unbiased. Their team was world class, and provided invaluable insight to our management team.”

Robert Forrester / President and CEO, Verastem Inc.

“When I was first introduced by a former Roche Executive to Catenion, I was a bit sceptical of retaining a London-based firm to tackle for Tel Aviv University two fundamental questions:

  1. Why despite great science published in top peer reviewed journals, TAU doesn’t have a molecule?
  2. What is required to drive this great science into the translational phase?

After short due diligence we retained Catenion to leverage the firm’s deep understanding of biopharma R&D and on-going changes in the academic environment.

Following extensive study and conducting over 100 interviews with top Israeli researchers both in TAU and other academic institutions, Catenion identified that multi-disciplinarity within the university was not enough: For significant translational research, TAU would need to involve the clinical researchers in the hospitals associated with the university. Catenion came up with a proposal that leveraged insights from the SPARK Stanford model and adapted them to the TAU ecosystem; we have now kicked off our initiative with a symposium, a first call for translational projects to be supported by the initiative will be out in a couple of months and we look forward to developing this further in the next few years with on-going support by Catenion

I would wholeheartedly recommend Catenion to academic and governmental decision-makers wishing to get their universities and hospitals on the global map of biomedical innovation.”

Dr. Giora Yaron / Chairman, Tel Aviv University

“I have worked with Catenion on a number of occasions.

In one instance, as part of a re-prioritization of our R&D portfolio, we were thinking of downscaling a long-standing collaborative research program with an Italian university in the field of regenerative medicine; Catenion was retained to provide an objective outside view on the level of scientific excellence and the longer term business potential of the collaboration.

As result of Catenion’s in-depth assessment, it became clear that our program was actually leading the field and we decided to upscale our engagement and to initiate business development activities through a dedicated biotech vehicle.
Catenion also supported us with thinking through the strategic potential of a Big Data-driven disease modeling project; they helped us position our methodology as an innovative platform approach clearly differentiated from both artificial intelligence and quantitative systems pharmacology; the firm also introduced us to the analytics group of a leading HMO in Israel to validate our thinking with third party patient data and pilot it in a high unmet need indication.

I very much enjoy working with Catenion who combine a deep understanding of biomedical innovation and scientific understanding with strategic acumen and
organizational savvy and I strongly recommend them to anybody with challenging strategic questions at the interface between academia and industry.”

Dr. Olaf Schermeier / CEO Global Research & Development, Fresenius Medical Care

“Catenion was able to identify and address the fundamental questions across every aspect of the value chain for each of the programs we assessed. Their insight into the science, regulatory landscape, manufacturing challenges, competitive dynamics, and commercial potential provided an objective understanding of the risks and opportunities.”

Mike Sherman / Chief Executive Officer, Endocyte

“ The IIA (Israel Innovation Authority) is responsible for crafting and delivering growth strategies for the Israeli government; in 2018, the Authority started a project to design Israel’s next growth engine in the biotechnology field.

Based on their prior work for Tel Aviv University and their deep knowledge of the biopharma industry and the Israeli ecosystem, we hired Catenion to help us identify local strengths and global industry trends we in Israel might build our strategy on; as a result of this discussion we redirected our thinking away from the mature biotech industry to the emerging field of Bioconvergence.

What exactly is Bio-convergence? The nascent field fuses life sciences with different technologies from mathematics, engineering, and the physical and computational sciences, creating a sum far greater than its parts. Enabled by advances in genomics, gene therapy, DNA sequencing, artificial intelligence, big data, nanotechnology, and synthetic biology, Bio-convergence is paving a holistic path to remarkable innovations in treatment, discovery and treatment.

In a year-long effort, Catenion helped us draft a long-term strategy and implementation plan, which has now become official policy of the IIA; they were crucial to the success of our strategy project and I strongly recommend them to any policy-makers intent on strengthening their local biomedical innovation systems.”

Anya Eldan / VP Israel Innovation Authority and Head of Startup Division

“Catenion is an outstanding partner.  They deeply understand the needs of a client, work closely with the utmost professionalism and focus on key outcomes, with unwavering focus.  Their insights are top notch across the board with true scientific rigor.”

David Berry, General Partner Flagship Pioneering / CEO Valo Health

Teva Pharmaceuticals asked Catenion to do a comprehensive assessment of our specialty pipeline supporting the executive team to define the future specialty strategy. Catenion was not shy of asking tough questions related to our R&D programs and portfolio selection. Our R&D organization highly appreciated their collaborative approach, scientific depth and independent mindset. Catenion convinced our R&D and executive teams, as well as the Board with independent recommendations based on real analytical depth.

Crucially, their understanding of the organizational dynamics of decision-making in large organizations resulted in actionable results out of this project.

I would recommend them to anybody who has challenging R&D strategy-related topics and requires an in-depth analysis of pipeline assets.

Dr. Sven Dethlefs, Executive Vice President, North America Commercial, Teva Pharmaceuticals

“When dealing with strategic topics related to R&D, Catenion is my partner of choice. They bring unique perspectives and frameworks, and their deep rooting in science and technology clearly differentiates them from other consulting firms that I know.”

Dr. Stefan Oschmann / CEO, Merck KGaA

“We have successfully worked with Catenion on various strategic- and portfolio related- topics. They really go deep into the science and are able to translate insights into effective strategies. They are fully at home in the world of US biotech and have an extensive network in Europe and Japan.”

Jon P. Stonehouse / President and CEO, Biocryst Pharmaceuticals Inc.

“Catenion have repeatedly supported our globalization strategy with practical advice – their in-depth understanding of the bio-pharmaceutical industry, its players and the R&D dynamic have been extremely helpful for us. We also appreciate their strong presence in Japan and understanding of Japanese culture.”

Makoto Hara / Executive Vice President Global Corporate Management, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd.

“Catenion supported us in a very critical situation with a key late stage development project. Due to their pragmatic, critical and entrepreneurial approach, they largely contributed to the success of the crisis management team. My very positive experiences with the Catenion consultants during project/portfolio reviews have now also been confirmed at a tactical and operational level within a global project team.”

Dr. Oliver Maria Wilbert / MBA Senior Director Immunotherapies, Portfolio Development, Merck Serono SA

“We have been working several times with Catenion and have always been extremely satisfied by the quality of the contribution which helped us to find robust and smart answers to the questions we worked on together. Catenion has been very instrumental by forcing the organization to question the current dogma. Catenion clearly stands out among the small and big consulting companies I have worked with.”

Prof. Dr. Eric-Paul Pâques / Chief Executive Officer, Grünenthal GmbH

“Ottobock HealthCare is the world market leader in prosthetics. Our major growth driver is the development and marketing of new and innovative products. With the intention to optimize our pipeline management we decided to implement portfolio management in our Prosthetics Business Unit. This has established great transparency regarding risk, commercial potential and strategic fit of R&D projects and marketed products. On that basis we are able to truly measure where we stand in R&D and in commercial terms versus our ambitious goals and are able to make timely adjustments, where required. Simultaneously portfolio management also supports our strategic planning of the development pipeline. During this entire journey, Catenion proved to be a true partner on strategic and operative levels for us and our teams.”

Dr. Helmut Pfuhl / Executive Vice President, Prosthetics & Dr. Hans Dietl / Chief Technology Officer, Otto Bock HealthCare GmbH

“With their systematic review of the key drivers of innovation and risk, Catenion has helped us focus our early stage medical devices and technology portfolios on the most promising assets. Their approach of on–the–job training our portfolio managers in the methodology and staying in the background led to great acceptance in the organization. As a result, we have decided to implement their approach. I have worked with Catenion for many years and in various roles and have always highly valued their contribution.”

Dr. Ulrich Thibaut / Member of the Board of Management (CTO), Drägerwerk AG

“Shortly after I had been hired into my current role, I engaged Catenion to help me prepare a change management programme that could guide the organisational realignment efforts for my first year in the job. This intense project involved a small team of four experienced consultants and went on for just ten weeks, focusing on

  • Improving productivity in Development (process efficiency and marketed output)
  • Redefining portfolio strategy
  • Redesigning numerous processes, interfaces, governance principles, as well as establishing a new management culture

Apart from their strong analytics, what I particularly appreciated was the pragmatic approach of the Catenion team. Without eschewing clarity and conflict where necessary, they involved the organization with a constructive, participatory spirit, thus turning initial apprehension into positive energy for implementation that we could harness for the change the company needed.”

Rob Koremans / Senior Vice President Generics Europe, Sanofi Aventis and CEO of Zentiva

“Over the years, I have come to know Catenion as independent thinkers who use their insights and methodological sophistication to come up with creative solutions that work.”

Bert Tjeenk Willink, M.D. / Member of the Board of Managing Directors, Head of Corporate Board Division Marketing and Sales, Boehringer Ingelheim

“Catenion has supported us on a number of portfolio and strategy related projects at a critical time in the company’s history as we focus our R&D efforts on creating future value. They bring very disciplined and cutting–edge methods and processes, but most importantly they understand our needs and requirements as a fast–paced biotech company. I really value their independent point of view, which has been instrumental in challenging and guiding our senior team in coming up with a winning portfolio strategy.”

David S. McCullough / Vice President, Strategic Planning, Commercialization & Corporate Development, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

“We have successfully used Catenion for R&D portfolio management and strategy support. Catenion’s in–depth understanding of pharmaceutical R&D and their sharp analytical approach clearly differentiates them. Our collaboration has been efficient, valuable and constructive.”

Dr. Claus Braestrup / President and CEO, H. Lundbeck A/S

“What I particularly appreciated in working with Catenion on the Personalised Medicine strategy for GSK is the rare combination of an in–depth understanding of the science (biomarkers, pharmacology, diagnostics, clinical trial designs, modelling tools..), the R&D processes, their very thorough strategic vision for R&D as well as the quality of their well articulated risk assessment tools both for R&D and commercial purposes. Through them I was able to develop a better vision of the key opportunities but also the real challenges of a Personalised Medicine Strategy. Their approach is robust and well qualified – it embeds the right balance of inspiration and pragmatism associated with a high level of discipline in collecting data and facts. Last but not least their sound assessment of organisations contributes to their remarkable sense of how to achieve the transformational benefit of new R&D approaches.”

Dr. Dominique Limet / SVP & Head of Personalised Medicine Strategy, Glaxo SmithKline

“Catenion supported us in evaluating our portfolio as a basis for making decisions on future strategy and focus of CIMA. They brought the right mix of analytical rigor and pragmatism necessary to go through a very large and heterogeneous group of projects. Their consultants had the cultural sensitivity required to successfully operate in an academic environment. Having a background in ‘Big Phama’, I greatly enjoyed the challenge of translating tools from that area to help us improve, but at the same time keeping the creative spark alive that is the lifeblood of a translational research institute like CIMA.”

Jesús M. Hernández, MD, PhD / COO, CIMA, University of Navarra

“One of the toughest decisions I had to take in my role as CEO of Bayer Pharma was to refocus our Discovery activities after the market withdrawal of Lipobay. Using their proprietary tools, benchmarks and a tough, fact–based approach, Catenion guided the Discovery management team through a difficult process of prioritisation of therapeutic areas and projects and provided crucial support for the decision making of the Bayer Corporate Board.”

Dr. Wolfgang Plischke / CEO of Bayer Pharma

“Catenion’s approach to assessing risk and value on both a project and portfolio level goes way beyond what is usually discussed in senior executive teams. It has allowed us to create a very solid foundation of information, which is the key to understanding the portfolio. Their process and independent points of view have greatly helped our Executive Management Board take difficult decisions during a challenging post–merger review of the portfolio, and going forward we have decided to implement their approach as the framework for us to manage our portfolio.”

Vincent Aurentz / Executive VP, Business Development & Portfolio Management, Merck Serono SA

Please note that titles of clients are those of positions held at time of project.

Recent client engagements included the following topics (click to read more about the anonymised case studies):

Asset Valuation for a global head of strategic marketing for a major player in neurology market
Portfolio Management in Pharma for a member of the executive management team of global pharmaceutical company
Portfolio Management in MedTech Implementing Portfolio Management to Gain Control of Strategy Execution Project Context and Scope A leading Medical Device company had set themselves ambitious growth targets for 2020. Reaching these qualitative and quantitative goals depends to a good degree on conceiving, developing and launching products that were not part of the marketed product portfolio in 2012. Catenion […]
Strategy Development in Pharma for the CEO of a European mid–sized company
Strategy Development in MedTech For a New Entrant in the Medical Devices Field Project Context and Scope A leading global technology firm wanted to assess different options for entering the Medical Devices industry. First steps had already been taken and now the company wanted to systematically review all fields in which a synergistic rationale with existing capabilities could be […]
Organisational Effectiveness for an executive board member for R&D, global pharmaceutical company
Innovation Management for a global head of research of a top pharmaceutical organisation
Marketing Excellence for a Global Head of Strategic Marketing for a major player in oncology market
Personalised Medicine for the CEO of a Global Healthcare Company