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About Me

Biography
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Biography

My passion is creating value for biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations. My multi-disciplinary approach combines 10+ years of corporate development and global business development expertise with hands-on experience as a former bench biologist. I started my career in metabolic engineering for Metabolix, Inc., an industrial biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing bioplastics. Next, I worked in the New Ventures Group for the Office of Technology Development at Boston University, learning hard skills on evaluating technologies in the life science space. Afterward I transitioned to a Marketing Manager role at a cardiovascular diagnostic company.

I lead business development for Therapeutics Systems Research Laboratories, a preclinical pharmaceutical company specializing in treatments for infectious diseases. After we established a successful business model, I co-founded the biotechnology company Ecovia Renewables with IP spun out of the University of Michigan. As Chief Business Officer, I co-led business development and commercialization efforts for a next-generation polyglutamic acid manufacturing platform. We raised an oversubscribed seed round of financing and signed a multiyear joint development agreement with Air Liquide Healthcare, a Fortune 100 company. In 2018, we were named by Biofuels Digest as "One of the Next 50 Companies to Disrupt the World". 

 

After the pandemic, I decided to move back into pharmaceuticals, and now lead program management, business development, and corporate strategy as Sr. Director of Corporate Development at Qualigen Therapeutics, a NASDAQ-listed biopharmaceutical company. I have a Master of Business Administration in the Health Sector, graduating with Honors, from Boston University. Likewise, I hold a Bachelors Degree with a major in Biology from Penn State University. I am also a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP).

Highlights

  • Generated four years of revenue growth, closed deals worth $50+ million in aggregate value, and raised $8+ million in private equity and non-dilutive financing

  • Delivered $12+ million annual strategic plan within budget for Orphan oncology portfolio

  • Conducted due diligence on 80+ life science assets and M&A opportunities, transacting 8+ deals

  • Built and managed cross-functional teams within matrixed environment (R&D, finance, legal, BD)

Education

  • BS, Biology, Pennsylvania State University,

    • Minor: Meteorology

  • MBA, Boston University, Health Sector Program, Cum Laude

    • Concentrations: Entrepreneurship, Marketing

Certifications & Activities

  • Certified Licensing Professional (CLP) (#2623) (2015-present)

    • CLP Exam Development Committee (2022-present)

    • CLP Standards, Admissions, and Recertification Committee (2018-2019)

    • CLP Appeals, Ethics, and Discipline Committee (2016-2017)

  • The Lundquist Institute, Intellectual Property Review Committee (2019-2021)

  • AkzoNobel Imagine Chemistry Award Winner (2017)

  • Judge, Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition (2014, 2015)

Posters, Publications, & Patents

  1. A.C. Hertig, E. Lipka, "The Preclinical Accelerator: A New Model for Drug Development." Cutting Edge / Drug Discovery & Development, East Lansing, Michigan, September 9-11, 2015, presented by A.C. Hertig.

  2. “Generation of High Polyhydroxybutyrate Producing Oilseeds.” US #9,181,559; Issued November 10th, 2015. United States Patent Application Publication #US2012/0180162 A1.

  3. Malik, M.R., Patterson, N., Sharma, N., Tang, J., Burkitt, C., Ji, Y., Martino, M., Hertig, A., Schweitzer, D., Peoples, O. and Snell, K.D. (2023), Polyhydroxybutyrate synthesis in Camelina: Towards coproduction of renewable feedstocks for bioplastics and fuels. Plant Biotechnol. J. https://doi.org/10.1111/pbi.14162

  4. “Nano-immunotherapy: Efficacy of nanoconjugate QN-247 in a Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) mouse model.” AACR Annual Meeting 2023. T. Arshad, S. Fait, G. Gammon, A. Hertig, M. Sarno.

Proficiencies

  • Technology Assessment: Due Diligence | Financial Modeling | Valuation | Competitive Intelligence

  • Corporate Strategy: Customer Discovery | Go-To-Market | Business Planning | Positioning

  • Marketing: Product Positioning | Digital Marketing | Website Design | Social Media | Branding

  • Contracts & Negotiation: In/Out-Licensing | Strategic Agreements | MTA & CDA

  • Fundraising: Pitch Deck Development | SBIR & STTR Grants | Seed & Venture Capital

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Skill Highlights

FINANCIAL MODELING

Summary & Application

A financial model is a tool used in due diligence for valuing an opportunity, whether that be a product, technology, or company. The goal is to make an informed opinion regarding a potential investment or acquisition. Ultimately a financial model is used to quantify underlying assumptions to understand business viability. Assets like a new drug or ingredient are commonly rolled up into an entire portfolio or business at various stages of development. Key outputs include internal rate of return (IRR) and net present value (NPV), and key inputs include discount rate, anticipated expenses and revenues. Additional elements that are incorporated into a financial model include assumptions around competition, market size, pricing, cost of capital, revenue sources, cost of goods sold (COGS), selling and administration, research costs, and regulatory costs, to name a few. I have modeled therapeutic opportunities (pre-clinical and clinical), diagnostics, ingredients, and advanced materials.

Toolbox

  • NPV and rNPV

  • Competitive analysis

  • Fixed & variable costs

  • Pricing/volume

  • Scale-up & COGS

  • Licensing comparables

BUSINESS STRATEGY

Summary & Application

Business strategies are formally incorporated into a Long Range Operating Plan (LROP) which typically goes out five to ten years and implemented yearly though an Annual Strategic Plan (ASP). I've contributed substantially to business models within drug development, diagnostics, and advanced materials. My skill set includes writing commercialization plans, including for awarded Phase II and IIB STTR/SBIR grants. Business strategy flows into telling the right story. Various elements must be considered, including innovation, marketability, and feasibility. The key to success is understanding how your technology and resulting product is differentiated from competitors. Your business story has to be simultaneously novel and intelligible, impactful and practical, cutting-edge with commercial potential. Employing the right tools enables the strategist to create an elegant argument supported by sufficient referenced material.

Toolbox

  • Positioning map

  • Stakeholder map

  • SWOT analysis

  • Porter's Five Forces

  • Target product profile

  • Gantt charts

  • Financial modeling (see above)

  • Financial statements

LICENSING/ NEGOTIATIONS

Summary & Application

Negotiation tactics must employ an objective understanding of the risks and benefits with a keen focus on the final objective. I have supported many licenses and partnering agreements within biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, from straightforward to complex. Depending on whether one is the the licensee or licensor, the first step is mapping out various scenarios and priorities for successful commercialization of one's invention. Many negotiators start with a broad ask. This means exclusivity, worldwide scope and unlimited field of use, and capturing the widest possible schedule of intellectual property. Negotiation tactics include narrowing the field of use or geography, substituting equity for cash, or pushing out various developmental and commercial milestones that escalate as risk is reduced and value is unlocked. The negotiation players must be credible, from their experience and professional candor, to the facts they can present that back up their arguments. Each side needs to also be able to replace players and reset the negotiation playing field if things go awry. This requires self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

Toolbox

  • Industry comparables

  • Negotiation canvas

  • Financial model (above, as usual)

  • Competitor matrix

  • Stakeholder map

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

Summary & Application

Depending on stage of your technology or business, it can be a good thing to go "stealth" and not share information that can compromise future IP filings or tip off your competitors. Working on a clear, communication plan with consistent branding elements allows a marketing and communication leader to maximize the potential of a product or organization. By following these rules, you can organize your thoughts, tell a story, educate, and increase awareness about your team, your company, and your purpose. As your presence grows amongst peers, so do your opportunities to communicate with key stakeholders, such as potential customers, partners, and investors. Simple ways to do this include incorporating a simple 2-way communication system like a chat box, announcement bar for virtual or in-person events, news reel to highlight activities and accomplishments, and lead capture system for newsletters and sales prospecting. Last, by incorporating an analytics software you can track the effectiveness of campaigns and monitor the site flow of visitors for optimizing user experience.

Toolbox

  • PRWeb

  • Wix

  • Squarespace

  • MailChimp

  • Google Analytics

Key Skills

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