Posts tagged ‘Biotech Marketing Strategy’
February 19th, 2013
At the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary cancers symposium in Orlando (ASCO GU), Sally Church, PhD interviewed Professor Bertrand Tombal about some of the latest clinical research in prostate cancer.
Professor Tombal is a leading urologist from Belgium who we always enjoy listening to at major international scientific meetings.
He invests a lot of time in giving educational presentations that are thought provoking and strategic.
You can read Sally’s interview: “Making a difference in Advanced Prostate Cancer – an interview with Bertrand Tombal” on Pharma Strategy Blog.
In the interview, Professor Tombal says what prostate cancer clinical trial he would do if you gave him a million dollars. We are not going to give the game away by telling you the answer, only to say it’s a combination trial that has a sound scientific rationale.
Check out Sally’s excellent series of interviews on people who are “Making a difference to the lives of cancer patients” if you have not already done so.
January 28th, 2013
Making sense of data is what we do. We live in a world where, thanks to the internet, the sheer volume of available data is increasing at an enormous rate.
Too often we see staff at client companies focus their energy on gathering data as cheaply as possible, instead of asking or seeking to understand what does all the data mean from a competitive stand point?
Data is now commoditized. Anyone can gain access to past ASCO Virtual Meetings, for example, and watch a rerun of conference presentations. While obtaining data is relatively easy, insights are a lot more expensive and difficult to generate.
Well, they require the application of knowledge, deep understanding and expertise of the topic to analyze, conceptualize and visualize data, and then extrapolate what it means to a company or product.
Here’s a fun video that shows how a picture tells a thousand words. Professor Hans Rosling, in this excerpt from a BBC documentary, shows the public health history of 200 countries in 4 minutes…
Turning data into a powerful illustration requires the expenditure of intellectual effort.
Making sense of data is what we do at Icarus Consultants.
December 31st, 2012
We are delighted to announce the public launch of our annual “New Products MBA” program that involves custom monthly case studies and 1:1 coaching. Previously by private request only, this program is designed for senior executives with responsibility for new product development or those involved with strategic decision making in this area.
How does the coaching program work?
This is an individual program and lasts for one year during which 10 monthly case studies are undertaken on topics selected by the participant. These could be on a tumor type, pathway, indication or topic related to drug development e.g. the science and commercial challenges around chimeric antigen receptors. Case study topics are typically focused around the sponsoring company portfolio to enable learnings to be applied.
Each case study includes a 10-15 page written paper with background, analysis, insights and key strategic questions. Additional material in the form of scientific papers to read and videos to watch is also provided. The commitment required is equivalent to undertaking an Executive MBA.
Following review of the case study and accompanying material, a 1 to 1.5 hour 1:1 coaching session takes place by telephone with Sally Church, PhD in which key learnings are discussed.
Importantly, the program does not discuss confidential or proprietary information, it is focused on helping participants ask the right questions, not making a key decision for them.
Why is a new products coaching program necessary?
In recent years, oncology has become a fast changing environment where it is increasingly important to be able to see the scientific connections between pathways and tumor types, understand the emerging impact of new competitors with novel mechanisms of action, as well as biomarkers and companion diagnostics, and be aware of the evolving landscape for next generation immunotherapies.
What do participants gain from this program?
The result of this coaching program will be an increased scientific understanding that enhances the ability to ask the right strategic questions of New Product Development and Brand Marketing teams and enable more in-depth strategic collaboration at the both the senior and middle management level.
What level of staff is this program aimed at?
This program was originally developed for a board level senior executive at a global pharmaceutical company. Based on its success we are making it publicly available in 2013 to a limited number of participants. We anticipate that it would benefit those at the Senior Director to Executive VP level who are involved with a range of oncology new products.
How much does this coaching program cost?
The program is comparable in cost to attending an Executive MBA, please contact us if you would like to learn more.
June 29th, 2012
The Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) means that the sun did not set on the provisions of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act that were contained within it.
Manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices will be required to report all payments and transfers of value (e.g. honoraria, consulting fees, travel expenses, meals) made to physicians and teaching hospitals.
The good news for Pharma market research vendors is that anonymous market research, where the sponsoring company does not know the names of the doctors interviewed, does not have to be reported.
Market research is not referred to directly in section 6002 of the ACA, but the “exemption” can be inferred from the definition of “payment or other transfer of value” in the Act:
Such term does not include a transfer of anything of value that is made indirectly to a covered recipient through a third party in connection with an activity or service in the case where the applicable manufacturer is unaware of the identity of the covered recipient.
This makes a lot of sense, after all, how can you potentially influence prescribing if you don’t know who is being paid by your market research vendor.
November 11th, 2011
At Icarus Consultants, we help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies bring new products to market.
When we look at the market opportunity for a new product, it’s not enough to have a great product, key to success is getting paid for it. Pricing and reimbursement are important in the commercial strategy!
Is it better to obtain the highest price for a new targeted therapy or alternatively have a lower price and obtain more market share? From a marketing strategy perspective, there is sometimes a case to be made for a lower price, but it’s a hard sell to convince senior management they are not leaving money on the table.
As to cancer immunotherapy, Dendreon with sipuleucel-T have shown that it can offer a survival benefits to some cancer patients. Other vaccines and immunotherapies are in development.
However, as Pieter Droppert points out in an insightful post on Biotech Strategy blog about a pilot study for PANVAC (Bavarian Nordic, CV-301), there remain a number of challenges that still have to be overcome. These include:
- How do we identify upfront which patients will respond to the vaccine?
- How do we evaluate how well patients are doing without clinically validated surrogate markers to aid in assessment?
You can read more on Biotech Strategy Blog.
There is a plenary session on cancer immunotherapy at the AACR-NCI-EORTC Cancer Molecular Targets & Therapeutics conference that starts in San Francisco tomorrow.
We look forward to obtaining further insights on the opportunities and challenges with cancer immunotherapy at this meeting.
November 10th, 2011
Sally Church, PhD on Pharma Strategy Blog has written about research on macrophage cell surface protein S100A10 and the role this plays in cancer metastasis and tumor growth.
As Sally notes, “macrophages are critical in driving tumour growth, invasion and metastasis. Macrophages are like the Pacmen of cells…” What a great visual metaphor!
Recently published research now shows that the macrophage cell surface protein, S100A10 plays an important role in how macrophages move to the site of tumor growth, a process that is key to tumor development and angiogenesis.
Is S100A10 a potential druggable target? You will have to read Sally’s insightful blog post to learn more.
October 26th, 2011
That sounds like a simple question, but can actually be difficult to answer.
As part of a market entry strategy or overview of the commercial landscape, we often have to look at the regulatory framework in a country.
For many products from pharma or biotech it’s obvious that something is a drug, medicinal product, biological product or device. However, for those involving nanotechnology, tissue engineering, biologics, or combinations of drugs/devices, it can be less clear.
Understanding how a product is classified from a regulatory perspective, something that may differ between countries, will impact a path to market strategy.
In the United States, under the Federal, Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 321), the term “drug” includes:
“articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or other animals.”
Dietary supplements such as vitamins are usually not considered to be drugs.
However, new research is coming out that shows vitamins may be more active than we may have previously thought.
Pieter Droppert on Biotech Strategy Blog has commented on research that showed giving vitamin E supplements to healthy men led to a 17% increased risk of prostate cancer.
In future it is possible that the regulatory classification for vitamins may change if they end up being given as active compounds for the treatment of a disease. What is a drug remains a simple question, but one that is not always easy to answer.
October 14th, 2011
The favorite scientific meeting of Sally Church, PhD is the American Association for Cancer Research AACR-NCI-EORTC Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics international conference that alternates each year between Europe and the United States.
On Pharma Strategy Blog, Sally notes the “luminaries” in personalized medicine that she is looking forward to hearing from in San Francisco.
You can read more about the fall cancer conferences that Sally will be attending on Pharma Strategy Blog.
Pieter Droppert on Biotech Strategy Blog also mentions the Molecular Targets conference and his interest in the plenary session chaired by Frank McCormick on “rational cancer drug development for targeted drugs.”
The potential for academia to facilitate combination trials with drugs from different companies was highlighted in Sally Church’s recent video interview with Gordon B Mills, MD PhD from UT MD Anderson Cancer Center.
If you have plans to be in San Francisco for the Molecular Targets conference do let us know. In addition to hearing about great science – networking and meeting people is one of the big reasons to attend.
August 24th, 2011
Earlier this summer, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) announced a positive decision for Seattle Genetics’ Adcetris™ (brentuximab vedotin) in Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) and Analplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL).
As Sally Church on Pharma Strategy Blog reported earlier this week, Seattle Genetics has just received fast track approval from the FDA for Adcetris™, a CD30-directed antibody drug-conjugate.
Using the company announced price of $13,500 per dose, Sally in her blog post analyzed the clinical trial data and treatment regimens to come up with a likely cost for a course of treatment in the range of $94,500 – $121,500.
Sally goes on to note that the “overall treatment cost will therefore be typically less than the $120K cost of treatment for BMS’s ipilimumab (Yervoy) in metastatic melanoma.”
The clinical data for Adcetris™ is impressive, and patients will most certainly benefit from the availability of this new treatment. Adcetris™ is the first antibody drug conjugate (ADC) technology to come to market.
You can read more about Sally’s analysis of the Adcetris™ price and other ADC products in the pipeline such as Roche’s T-DM1 on Pharma Strategy Blog.