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In- and out-licensing

Find the right partnerships to develop or exploit your products

Alcimed’s healthcare team supports health industry companies in their projects for developing and exploiting licenses, and more particularly in the partner search for in and out licensing.

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In out licensing agence cabinet conseil consultingIN/OUT LICENSING ISSUES

  • What is in-licensing? What is out-licensing?

In- and out-licensing are terms used in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries to describe the transfer of intellectual property rights between companies.

In-licensing refers to a company’s acquisition of the rights to use a technology or product which was developed by another company, also known as a licensee.

Out-licensing refers to the transfer of a company’s license to use a technology or product that they developed, allowing another company to become the licensee

  • What are the challenges related to in and out licensing?

The emerging trend of in- and out-licensing in the health industry is motivated by several factors, including the increased costs and risks associated with developing a new medication or new technology, the lack of internal expertise, and the need to enlarge ones portfolio of patents and products.

In- and out-licensing offers opportunities to biotechs and pharmas to access new technologies and products or new markets, all while reducing the associated financial and organizational risks, in order to remain competitive in constantly evolving industries.

In order to maximize the potential of in- and out-licensing, it is important to bring attention to the associated challenges, in particular:


In licensing is a way for companies to access innovations that complement their own R&D capacities and grow their portfolio of products and technologies to reinforce their market position and their capacity to address patient needs.

What range of products will be developed via in licensing? What are the most appropriate partners for addressing my in-licensing strategy?
By in-licensing products that are already advanced in the R&D process, companies will be able to reduce the risks associated with R&D (notably those associated with early phases of research). This allows companies to benefit from new assets while avoiding high costs of acquiring infrastructures and specific expertise.

At what stage of R&D should new products be licensed? How can my in-licensing strategy be demonstrated compared with a more traditional development process?
In-licensing allows the entry into new markets and geographies by acquiring the commercial rights for a product that has already been approved in other regions. This facilitates the reinforcement of one’s knowledge and distribution network in a previously unknown market.

What geographies should I target with an in-licensing strategy? How can I make the most of the rights acquired by in-licensing?

For out-licensing

Out-licensing promotes the generation of supplementary revenues by granting usage licenses to other players. In pharma, numerous SMEs out-license the commercialization of their products to big-pharma players. By granting licenses to players with large commercialization capacity, one can take advantage of the well-established distribution network and marketing expertise of their partners to reach a larger number of patients and achieve more profits.

How can the right partner be found and chosen for out-licensing products? How can one’s distribution network be promoted to smaller players to obtain licensing agreements?
Out-licensing generates an opportunity to concentrate on one’s principal activities, such as R&D, by trusting for example the commercialization of one’s products to specialized partners.

What activities should be out-licensed? To which partners?
Out-licensing enables partners to share the risks involved in developing and commercializing a technology or a product. By finalizing licensing agreements, the concerned players transfer part of their regulatory and financial responsibility to their partners.

Which types of license deals should be made? How far should we go in risk-sharing?

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How do we support you in your in- and out- licensing projects ?

For more than 30 years, Alcimed has been supporting clients in their innovation and development projects relating to acquiring and granting licenses.

The diversity of our clients (large industry players, biotechs, SMEs, start-ups), the geographic fields and therapeutic areas we explore, and the types of projects we carry out give us a global and in-depth understanding of the challenges of in- and out-licensing projects.

From the elaboration of license-granting strategies to the identification of potential partners, we provide a strategic and operational support to our clients. Our investigational and analytical capacities put at the disposition of our clients all of the necessary information for decision making in the framework of their in- or out-licensing strategy.

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We supported a pharmaceutical player in the evaluation of an in-licensing opportunity for a digital pain support product. We characterized the key markets in pain management by segmenting them per geographic zone and by usage case, and we evaluated the potential of the solutions by taking into account specificities, regulations, market access, cultural habits, and more. In the end, we validated the value proposition of the start-up and recommended to our client to proceed with due diligence.
For a healthcare industry client, we identified a product that involved connected technologies adaptable to medical gas bottles in order to promote the optimization of logistical flows and propose new services, such as monitoring patient physiological parameters. After precisely defining with the client the filtering criteria of technologies to explore (maturity, price, competitive intensity, operating freedom, etc.), our team carried out a primary selection of pertinent technologies for our client’s product. Then, after having defined and chosen a more fine-combed selection, we analyzed for each technology the type of data that could be generated, their value and their limits (connectivity, long-distance communication, autonomy, etc.). In the end, we recommended three key technologies for our client’s product and we introduced them to the developers of these technologies to establish a licensing agreement partnership.
We supported one of our clients, a leading healthcare industry player, in the evaluation of a strategic opportunity in the e-Health speech disorders market. To do so, our team conducted a landscaping investigation to identify the players, and to understand and evaluate the tele-therapy market for speech and language disorders. We interviewed potential partners to understand their solutions and their current business models, and to consider a product licensing partnership with our client. For this partner search, our team developed a visualization tool which showed in an interactive manner the potential partnership between our client and each of the studied companies. In the end our client could short-list partners, meet them, and conclude a licensing deal with one of them for their product.
We supported a major industrial player in the identification of targeting companies with which to establish in-/out-licensing partnerships. Our client had a well-established sales force in several geographies across the world, and was interested in partners with products that were already in advanced stages of development or market access, or that were already on the market.

Our client’s New Business Development team was lacking information regarding the strategy and needs of medium-sized pharma companies in terms of product partnerships. To this end, our team analyzed around a hundred companies according to diverse criteria established by our client (such as therapeutic areas of interest, geographic overlap with our client, product types, level of R&D advancement, market access phase, etc.) before establishing a shortlist of 30 companies to characterize in more depth. We then exchanged with teams of the selected targets to understand their needs and expectations in terms of licensing, to underline the potential of out-licensing with them, and to present the main points of the partnership proposed by our client.

In the end, the New Business Development team of our client could contact the targets who had expressed a first level of interest, all while refining their commercial approach based on the results of our study.

Founded in 1993, Alcimed is an innovation and new business consulting firm, specializing in innovation driven sectors: life sciences (healthcare, biotech, agrifood), energy, environment, mobility, chemicals, materials, cosmetics, aeronautics, space and defence.

Our purpose? Helping both private and public decision-makers explore and develop their uncharted territories: new technologies, new offers, new geographies, possible futures, and new ways to innovate.

Located across eight offices around the world (France, Europe, Singapore and the United States), our team is made up of 220 highly-qualified, multicultural and passionate explorers, with a blended science/technology and business culture.

Our dream? To build a team of 1,000 explorers, to design tomorrow's world hand in hand with our clients.


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