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Ascending The Portfolio Optimization Maturity Curve

Webinar 9th March 2023

Our guest speaker was Tom Heaps-Nelson, Senior Program Manager at Neurocrine Biosciences

This talk explored how biopharma companies can ascend the maturity curve from ad hoc to data-driven/robust portfolio optimization. Topics covered included the pros & cons of various portfolio optimization approaches (and software options), as well as organizational challenges of implementation.


  • Understand the foundations of PPM/PPO

  • Appreciate why PPM/PPO is hard

  • Be aware of key frameworks for PPM/PPO

  • Be aware of key software tools for PPM/PPO

  • Understand maturity assessments used for PPM/PPO

  • As a PM, provide better inputs to the PPM/PPO process

Tom Heaps-Nelson is a Senior Program Manager in drug development at Neurocrine Biosciences. Previously, Tom was a biopharma management consultant with Skysis LLS, with Scimitar Inc, and as an independent consultant. He is passionate about improving teams, systems, and strategic decision-making.

Tom holds an MS in Chemical Engineering, PhD in Engineering Systems, and MBA from MIT. He is PMP and Smartsheet certified. In his spare time, Tom enjoys hiking, fishing, and playing tennis.

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