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August 13, 2019

Vicarius Pharma appoints new Head of Business Development


Vicarius Pharma is pleased to announce the appointment of Eric S. Hoffman, Ph.D. as its new Head of Business Development. Eric Hoffman brings scientific depth, Wall Street experience and extensive industry knowledge to the role. He will be based in Boston/Cambridge, MA, USA.



Vicarius Pharma AG announced today the appointment of Eric S. Hoffman, Ph.D. as its new Head of Business Development. Eric Hoffman will be based in Boston/Cambridge, MA. With this appointment, Vicarius strengthens its commitment to building strong partnerships with US-based innovator companies with late-stage specialty, rare/orphan and hospital products.


Before joining Vicarius Pharma, Eric Hoffman was Chief Business Officer at Genocea Biosciences for nearly four years. Prior to Genocea, he was Vice President of corporate and business development, program management and commercial operations at Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. until its acquisition by Merck in August 2014. Mr. Hoffman held investor relations and business development roles at Biogen Idec from 2006 to 2010 and worked almost six years on Wall Street as an equity research analyst at J.P. Morgan, Schwab Soundview Capital Markets and BearStearns. Before starting on Wall Street in 2001, he was a post-doctoral research scientist in the Department of Immunobiology at Guy's Hospital in London, studying T cell development and cell cycle regulation. He has authored several book chapters and peer-reviewed papers, including in Cell, Immunity, and Genes & Development. He holds a Ph.D. in Immunobiology from Yale University and a B.S. in Biology from Trinity University.


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About Vicarius



Vicarius Pharma delivers emerging bio-pharma companies greater strategic choice in bringing late-stage (end of phase 3/registration phase) specialty, orphan/rare and hospital therapeutics to the European market. Vicarius provides companies with an option beyond the binary decision to “go it alone” in Europe versus out-licensing to an established pharma company, with the loss of control this entails.


When entering Europe with Vicarius Pharma, partner companies avoid the risk and costs of trying to build their own organization but don’t lose strategic control over their asset, as they would in a traditional out-licensing deal. Our business model allows them the option to recapture the asset at any time of the partnership, for instance if they decide to go direct in Europe or on a change of control.



Vicarius offers highly flexible partnership models and takes legal and operational responsibility for the direct commercialization of partner assets in Europe. We build a customer-facing organization, commercialize the product and absorb launch costs, thereby protecting our partners’ P&L. Vicarius pays the partner a base royalty from the first day of sales and shares profits following break-even.



Bridging the gap between going direct and out-licensing in Europe addresses a real market need. Our partners can rely on the operational expertise and experience of our Team, preserve the highest strategic flexibility and enjoy a better economic share than typical out-licensing deals, without the cost and risk of trying to go direct in Europe.



  • Q Why choose Vicarius to commercialize in Europe?

    Partner companies want the assurance of operational expertise and focus, reduced financial risk, excellent economic returns and strategic flexibility. The team behind Vicarius combines the expertise and know-how gathered from over 40 product launches on a pan-European level. There is no better launch partner, especially for a single asset company. In addition, our partnership model offers the highest strategic flexibility and a better economic share than typical out-licensing deals.

  • Q How will Vicarius deliver higher economic share than a typical out-licensing agreement?

    Out-licensing is typically not a win-win. Licensees have been offering poor returns to asset owners because the only alternative has been to “go it alone”. Our model provides a new option, and improved terms. We are targeting a return for our asset owners, on average, of around 50% of total asset economics. With traditional licensing models, the return is typically below 30%.

  • Q What are the key benefits of Vicarius’ partnership model compared to out-licensing?

    The asset (and, if desired, the in-country commercial organizations) can be recovered at any time of the partnership.

    We only take on a few selected assets and build a right-sized commercial organization around each one. The success of each asset is a top priority for our European Executive Team.

    Our partnering terms offer a high share of economics via profit share and royalties. Mid-teen royalties of a typical licensing agreement can’t match the economics offered in a Vicarius partnership. This holds also true if you take an average upfront payment into account.

    In addition, the valuation of the innovator company does not suffer from a “poison pill” effect of a long-term out-license agreement.

  • Q What therapeutic areas do you cover?

    We focus on specialty, hospital and orphan/rare therapeutics, combine the experience gathered from over 40 pan-European product launches, and are familiar with a very wide range of therapeutic areas. Vicarius has the wealth of experience, access to relevant networks and outstanding management capacity to make the European product launch a success for our partner. Through joint steering bodies, our partners’ experience with the asset is directly leveraged in the European context.

  • Q How will you balance a portfolio of partners?

    We only manage a few selected assets at any given time. Our partnership models are built on full alignment of interests and incentives. Each asset owner has oversight of the collaboration through the JSC and we hold ourselves to agreed KPIs.

  • Q How will you build an organization around my asset?

    Hiring good people is an area in which new market entrants really struggle, and often fail. On the other hand, licensee organizations are frequently not a good fit for the in-licensed asset. We have extensive networks across Europe, providing us with unmatched access to talent.


    We will build right-sized customer-facing organizations with the right skills, at the right time, to maximize the chances of commercial success. These organizations will be supported by cross-functional experts allocated across different assets. The synergies of this structure are passed on to our partners in improved economics.

  • Q How do you work with partners?

    Vicarius plans and executes European launches. Asset owners keep the control of R&D and global branding without being over-stretched. We will set-up joint steering bodies to fit client strategy and resources. We hold ourselves accountable to pre- and post-launch performance measures, thus reducing asset owners’ need to “oversee” European operations.

  • Q Are your partner agreements exclusive?

    We never sell competing products. We include this our deal terms.

  • Q Who is backing Vicarius Pharma?

    Shares of Vicarius Pharma are held by founders and private investors. We raised CHF 21 million in 2017. We have access to further funding to support the growth of our business as an entrepreneurial pharmaceutical company.


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