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Posts tagged ‘breast cancer market research’

The Art of the KOL Interview

August 24th, 2012


Pharma and biotech companies routinely seek the opinion of leading academics and researchers, but interviewing thought leaders (more commonly known as Key Opinion Leaders or KOLs) is an art, rather than a science.

Qualitative pharma market research typically consists of a structured interview arranged around a discussion guide that has scripted questions and probes. In our experience, such an overly structured approach is often not optimal with top tier KOLs.

Remember, these are extremely busy people and if you are fortunate enough to gain a short period of time from them (we normally do this over the phone), you need to use it wisely or they will soon be bored, distracted, cut you short and move on – unless you pique their curiosity and engage them in something that holds their interest.

Our approach is to:

  • Focus on a few strategic questions or key issues
  • Have a moderator who is knowledgeable about the topic so that the interview comes across as a scientific conversation
  • Be prepared to listen and adjust follow-on questions accordingly

On Pharma Strategy Blog, you can read some of the KOL interviews that Sally Church, PhD has undertaken with leading business executives, academic researchers and clinicians.

Some of the thought leaders she has interviewed as part of her excellent “Making a Difference in the Lives of Cancer Patients” series include Alain Moussy (CEO of AB Science) Susan Desmond-Hellmann (Chancellor of UCSF) and Charles Sawyers (MSKCC – winner of the 2009 Lasker Award, and likely future Nobel Laureate).

If you would like to learn more about our Pharma KOL market research services, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Do you know who your thought leaders are and what they think about your product?

March 10th, 2012


EAU 2012 Paris Congress Arc De Triomphe 300x168 Do you know who your thought leaders are and what they think about your product?One of the emerging trends we saw at the recent European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress in Paris was an increase in the number of plenary and session presentations by physicians from Eastern European countries.

This trend is set to continue, and we expect to see more physicians from the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India & China) group of countries and other emerging markets presenting at global science and medical meetings in the future.

Poland is a good example of a country that should be on the radar of any global pharmaceutical company.  It is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, and was the only European country to avoid a recession in 2008-2009.

EAU 2012 Bone Symposium 300x168 Do you know who your thought leaders are and what they think about your product?It was interesting to note that Tomasz Borkowski (Department of Urology at the Medical University of Warsaw) who gave a major session presentation at EAU onCancer induced bone disease – prevention and treatment listed only one company on his disclosures.

Clearly, some companies are ahead of others in identifying and building relationships with thought or key opinion leaders (KOLs) as they are commonly known.

One of the services we offer clients is market research with thought leaders at the global, national and regional level.  Like all market research, this is anonymous – you don’t know the name or the institution and the physician doesn’t know who the sponsor is.  This allows the doctor to speak more freely.  This type of market research can provide valuable insights into what they think about a product or market opportunity with less bias.

Do you know who your thought leaders are and what think about your product?  If not, please contact us and we would be delighted to help you meet your brand business goals.

Understanding the Pharma Biotech Competitive Landscape

October 3rd, 2011


One of the pharma marketing strategy consulting services that we offer clients is a competitive landscape, market opportunity report.

These custom reports analyze a pathway, disease, tumor type or competitive set, and can include a thorough analysis of clinical data, biomarkers, epidemiology, market size and competitor activity. All our work comes with actionable insights and strategic recommendations.

Once our clients understand the competitive landscape, and the market opportunity for their product we often generate a path to market strategy.

One of the ways our consultants keep abreast of current pharma/biotech industry news is through writing about science and clinical data.

Following the recent 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress (EMCC 2011), the joint meeting of ESMO, ECCO and ESTRO, Sally Church wrote an in-depth analysis of the phase II data for T-DM1 (trastuzumab emtansine) in first line metastatic breast cancer. You can read more on Pharma Strategy Blog.

Meanwhile on Biotech Strategy Blog, Pieter Droppert interviewed Dr Chris Parker about the phase III, ALSYMPCA trial results for radium-223 (Alpharadin) in advanced prostate cancer.

This radiopharmaceutical provides new treatment options for a neglected group of men who are unable to take chemotherapy. You can read more on Biotech Strategy Blog, and also watch the video interview below:

The relationship between HRT and Breast Cancer

April 18th, 2011


Sally Church on Pharma Strategy Blog discusses the issue of to what extent hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is linked to a higher incidence of breast cancer?

 The relationship between HRT and Breast CancerRecent data published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed a reduction in breast cancer incidence for those taking conjugate equine estrogens.  This is in sharp contrast to other studies that suggest a higher incidence of breast cancer in HRT users.

As Sally discusses in her thoughtful post, part of the reason for the difference “may lie in the type of hormone treatments given (estrogen only versus combination therapy) and variations in patient groups.”

Additionally, Sally notes that the differences “can be explained in the long-term follow-up after treatment.”

You can read more about this controversial topic on Pharma Strategy Blog.

Nanoparticles offer promise for improved drug delivery in breast cancer

April 1st, 2011


Nanotechnology is expected to provide major breakthroughs in how drugs cross the blood-brain barrier and reach into tumors.  That promise is already starting to be seen.

Cancer Research Cover Feb 15 2011 Nanoparticles offer promise for improved drug delivery in breast cancerResearch by Julia Ljubimova and her team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was recently published in the AACR journal, Cancer Research. They showed that biodegradable nanoparticles containing trastuzumab (herceptin), dramatically reduced HER2/neu protein activity in mice containing human HER2/neu positive breast tumors.

As Sally Church in her thoughtful post about this research on Pharma Strategy Blog, states, “it will be most interesting to see if this idea is developed clinically in human trials and whether the results will be reproducible or not.”

Nanotechnology and the development of nanoparticles that deliver drugs more effectively and with less toxicity, is an area that all new products professionals should be watching.