Bracken’s new Senior Partner, Ina Margaretha Rijnhout, is no stranger to the wide landscape of the life sciences field. From basic science to clinical research to business development and commercialization, Ina has had a career as broad as it is impactful. Based in the Netherlands, Ina has 25 years of experience in building innovative biotech and CRO businesses, leading (pre)clinical development programs and creating strategic partnerships. With a special interest in orphan diseases and high-need indications, she worked deeply in the fields of immunology, infectious diseases, congenital muscle disorders, mitochondrial and lysosomal storage diseases, involving biologicals, gene, and cell therapies.
Careers in the life science industry are often not “one size fits all”. Ina’s trajectory certainly proves that. Her passion for bringing new technologies and therapies to patients suffering from diseases for which no therapies exist had a direct impact on her career transition into orphan drug development—and that’s exactly the message she wants to instill on young life science professionals.
We recently sat down with Ina to pick her brain on the importance of making a difference, helping patients, and guidance for young industry professionals.
Let's Talk Partnerships
For an industry as vital as life sciences, often, small companies and organizations with innovative approaches often struggle getting adequate or full funding. This is a recurring problem, Ina reminds us—one that stretches across the industry, especially for rare diseases or more complex diseases, such as post-COVID.
Leveraging expertise to raise capital is the foundation of any successful development trajectory. Luckily, there are many opportunities behind-the-scenes whose niches may be the perfect fit.
Developing long-term partnerships and utilizing governmental grants or associated fundraising techniques are essential to delivering life-changing treatments. And successful fundraising starts at the source—connection. It may be an amorphous word, but building strong partnerships as early as possible is key. Ina says, “I’m very much a believer in business development being the central part of the company’s success. There must be constant integration and communication between all teams, external partners, and patients to drive [the organization] forward.” Without connection at every stage, critical information may be lost.
Developing robust business plans, identifying strategic niches, thinking out of the box, and building fruitful partnerships are all necessary pieces of the life sciences puzzle.
Listen Up, Young Scientists and Entrepreneurs
“What I love about the current life sciences landscape,” Ina says, “is that I see more and more young entrepreneurs pitching groundbreaking technologies”. When you’re a fresh face in the life science field, the breadth of this industry can be daunting. Ina’s advice? Start your journey where your passion is, keep an open and curious mind and always go for the extra mile. Never give up.
At Bracken, our team is dedicated to making an impact. That’s what we consider paramount to success. Whether you’re a young entrepreneur at the beginning of your career or you’re a seasoned life science industry professional, you have the power to make a difference. From building a business case to getting funding, navigating the regulatory and development arena, and creating licensing and M&A deals, Bracken is dedicated to guiding you towards success. Do you have a project you need an expert’s eyes on? Contact us today to learn more about working with Ina and Bracken’s team of expert consultants.