Want to sponsor an event or happy hour? Please visit our sponsorship page.

Workshop: Building Successful Partnerships: Guidelines for Entrepreneurs

Sponsored by:

Sponsors logos


This workshop offers practical advice on how to form and maintain research and development partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, disease foundations, and other organizations. We will discuss the distinct challenges and opportunities of collaborations and address: what to look for in a partner, how to navigate the partnering process, looking beyond the transaction, avoiding common pitfalls, and keys for success.


5:30 – 6:00 PM Networking

6:00 – 7:30 PM Presentations and Q & A

7:30 – 8:00 PM Breakout sessions with individual speakers/networking

Cost: $30 SDEE Members, $50 Non-members

Visit sdentrepreneurs.org/join_sdee to become a member.



Neil Berkley

Vice President, Head of Business Development, Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc.

Neil BerkleyNeil Berkley has over nineteen years of corporate development, business development, and strategic planning experience in large pharma and both small and midsize biotech/specialty pharma companies. He has completed a wide variety of transactions including in- and out-licensing deals, M&A transactions, research collaborations, and financings.

Mr. Berkley is currently Vice President, Head of Business Development at Halozyme Therapeutics, a public U.S. biotechnology company focused on enabling platforms for the pharmaceutical industry. Before joining Halozyme, he worked as the chief business officer of AxeroVision, Inc. (a GSK spinout company) and was a senior business development consultant for Avalon Ventures/COI Pharmaceuticals. Prior to that he was part of the corporate development team at Acadia and held various roles at GSK including head of business development for Neuroscience, head of West Coast BD, site head of the San Diego GSK R&D satellite office and was a member of the Transactions Team. Earlier in his career, Mr. Berkley was head of business development at Cadence Pharmaceuticals, where he helped sell the company to Mallinckrodt for $1.3B in cash. Mr. Berkley also co-founded two San Diego-based biotechnology companies, Mpex pharmaceuticals which he helped sell to Aptalis and Vaxiion, a preclinical stage bladder cancer company.

Mr. Berkley holds a BS in molecular biology from the University of California, San Diego and an MS in cellular and molecular biology as well as an MBA from San Diego State University.


Marilyn Ferrari

Founder and President, Cesira, Inc.
Strategic Alliance Consulting

Marilyn FerrariMarilyn Ferrari is Founder and President of Cesira, a consultancy that supports life sciences organizations in building successful partnerships. Marilyn has over twenty years of academic and industry experience spanning basic research, drug development, business development, and alliance management. Prior to founding Cesira, Marilyn held leadership roles in all of these areas at Vical, a San Diego biotechnology company. She has worked with a number of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and built partnerships to develop therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics, and devices. Marilyn has completed a variety of in-licensing and out-licensing deals and led several strategic partnerships.  These include academic/corporate alliances and joint biotech/government projects spanning initial research to clinical development, and manufacturing services. Marilyn holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. She is also a credentialed mediator.


Andrew Hopkins

Corporate Development Executive

Andrew HopkinsAndrew Hopkins is a corporate development executive with 15+ years of pharma and biotech leadership experience in corporate strategic planning, business development, program management, commercial planning, and investor relations. He was most recently the Executive Director of Corporate Development at Vical, a San Diego biotechnology company, where he led a strategic process culminating in the reverse merger between Vical and Brickell Biotech. While at Vical he executed a broad range of licenses, collaborations and deals. Prior to joining Vical, Andrew was a Senior Engagement Manager at Campbell Alliance (now Syneos Health Consulting), a management consulting firm, where he assisted clients with commercial strategy and provided transaction support on both the buy-side and sell-side. Andrew holds a Master of Business and Science (MBS) from the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Cape Town.

March 12, 2020 at 5:30pm - 8pm
Hera Hub
4010 Sorrento Valley Blvd
Ste. 400
San Diego, CA 92121
United States
Google map and directions
Danielle Hayes ·

Will you come?

$50.00 Non-member
$30.00 Member

Attend SDEE Events Donate | Sponsor SDEE Become a Member

Connect with SDEE

Sign Up for SDEE Newsletter


Morrison Foerster Alexandria

Struthers Family


BioMed Realty

Ted Jacobs
Executive Managing Director
Global Life Sciences Practices Group

Brex logo


Takeda San Diego Union Bank JP Morgan logo


Duane Morris MaxCyte Wagenknecht Barney and Barney Longfellow

SDEE is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded by local San Diego entrepreneurs
in order to provide a voice for the early stage start-up, to support new entrepreneurs and their companies,
and to sponsor networking and educational events
to help develop the skills necessary to bring funding, business, and jobs to the San Diego area.

© 2015 San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange. All Rights Reserved