Posts tagged ‘Pharma KOL Market Research’
February 18th, 2013
Celgene Corporation’s nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) will be a new treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer. That was the news from the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancers symposium (ASCO GI) that took place in San Francisco last month.
At the 2012 European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting in Vienna, Sally Church, PhD noted on Pharma Strategy Blog that pancreatic cancer experts such as Margaret Tempero, MD were excited about the prospect of nab-paclitaxel in pancreatic cancer
The data presented at ASCO GI showed that for patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, the addition of nab-paclitaxel to the chemotherapy gemcitabine led to an increase in median overall survival of 1.8 months compared to receiving gemcitabine alone (8.5 months versus 6.7 months, Hazard Ratio: 0.72, P=0.000015). While this may seem a small amount of time, there are few effective treatments for advanced pancreatic cancer.
By showing a significant increase in overall survival, Abraxane met the primary endpoint of the phase 3 MPACT clinical trial, and is likely to be approved by the FDA in the future.
Abraxane will provide a new treatment option in pancreatic cancer
The Abraxane data presented at ASCO GI was good, but it was not great. Sally Church interviewed Dr Hedy Lee Kindler, Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago about the significance of the data.
In her “Making a difference in Pancreatic Cancer Interview“, Dr Kindler says that for most of her patients she would still use FOLFIRINOX. This is a chemotherapy combination (5-fluorouracil, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin) that has side effects that need to be carefully managed.
It is only suitable for those patients who are well enough to take it, but offers a superior survival advantage in advanced pancreatic cancer. Data from the PRODIGE 4/ACCORD 11 study presented at the 2010 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) showed the median overall survival time for patients receiving the FOLFIRINOX regimen to be 11.1 months.
Where we expect Abraxane to receive most pancreatic cancer use in the United States is from community oncologists who don’t wish to manage the side effects associated with FOLFIRINOX
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November 29th, 2012
Multiple Myeloma (MM) is forecast to be a hot topic at the forthcoming annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) that starts in Atlanta next week.
There are four “Super Friday” satellite symposia and over 700+ MM abstracts that will be presented in multiple oral and poster sessions. If you add in the recent FDA approval for carfilzomib (Kyprolis) and the anticipation that pomalidomide (Actimid) will be approved soon, there’s a lot going on.
We specialize in Thought Leader or Key Opinion Leader (KOL) market research. Often projects are a hybrid where we discuss high-level strategic issues with KOLs and ask community hematology-oncologists or medical oncologists more practice-focused questions.
Based on our experience, multiple myeloma is a challenging topic for pharma market research:
- Treatment regimens can be complex, even some community medical oncologists have told us they are challenged by them.
- Treatment decisions are multifactorial and individualized, so it’s often hard for community based physicians to generalize.
- High prescribing community physicians may be in small towns not near a market research facility, requiring telephone interviews.
- Thought leaders are busy people – you need to focus on a few key questions you want them to answer.
- Access to top-tier thought leaders is difficult, they often will only talk to people they know or have met at medical or scientific meetings.
If you have plans to be in Atlanta for ASH, do contact us. We’d welcome the opportunity to meet up and tell you more about what we do.
October 29th, 2012
The 2012 Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium takes place at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, New York City from November 7 – 10. Fortunately, the timing avoids the disruption expected this week from Hurricane Sandy.
The Greenspan Meeting as it’s also known (in recognition of the late Ezra M. Greenspan MD, the symposium founder) provides the opportunity for oncologists to learn about new developments in cancer therapy.
It is a joint presentation by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the non-profit Chemotherapy Foundation.
Sally Church, PhD who frequently attends says she particularly “enjoys the lectures that give a broad strategic overview of a particular topic.”
There’s usually a good turnout from the NJ/NY pharma industry and it’s interesting to talk to local academic and community oncologists about their practice.
You can read more about last year’s prostate cancer session at the 2011 Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium on Biotech Strategy Blog. The informative sessions cover a lot of ground and are well worth attending.
Update November 1, 2012 – Symposium not cancelled after Storm Sandy
Good to see The Chemotherapy Foundation announce on twitter today that the symposium will go on as scheduled. Hopefully the transport network will have some semblance of normality by then otherwise it will remain a challenge for many in the local area to attend.
The Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium will go on as scheduled. You can still register on chemotherapyfoundationsymposium.org
— Chemo Fdtn Symposium (@tcfsymposium) November 1, 2012
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).
August 20th, 2012
To better showcase our pharmaceutical marketing strategy, KOL market research, new product development and competitive intelligence services we have recently upgraded the Icarus Consultants website.
Thanks to The Theme Foundry who provided outstanding customer service.
We hope that you like the new/look feel, particularly the homepage that combines company news, information on our services and why you should consider working with us.
Some of the new features you will see include:
- Video on the Homepage: we plan to change this regularly. At the moment it features a preview of ASCO 2012.
- New page with Case Studies. Client confidentiality prohibits us from saying too much, but we’ve attempted to give a flavor of some of our recent projects.
- Responsive theme: the site is now optimized for viewing on tablets and mobile devices.
If you have any comments about our new look or would like to learn more about our services, please contact us.
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.
May 15th, 2012
The 2012 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) takes place in Chicago in just over two weeks time from June 1 – 5. The ASCO abstracts will be publicly available tomorrow (May 16) at 6pm EDT.
We’re looking forward to being at ASCO, and picking up the latest data for new products and evaluating the impact this may have on our understanding of key pathways and drug development targets.
If you want to know what Sally Church, PhD predicts will be highlights of the ASCO 2012 meeting (in the absence of any abstract information) then watch her informative video and check out her ASCO preview post on Pharma Strategy Blog.
If you plan to be at ASCO 2012 and would like to meet up and discuss our capabilities, please contact us.
March 10th, 2012
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.
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 on “Cancer 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.
January 31st, 2012
Cancer drug development is becoming more targeted and focused as a result of scientific advances. The understanding of ALK gene rearrangements in lung cancer led to the development of crizotinib (Xalkori) for the subset of patients who are ALK-positive.
Sally Church, Ph.D on Pharma Strategy Blog has reviewed some of the recent advances in our understanding of colororectal cancer (CRC).
Resistance to chemotherapy in colon cancer
As Sally noted, “the presence of the TFAP2E-DKK4 mutation may explain why some patients with colorectal cancer do better with chemotherapy than others.”
Inflammation linked to the early development of colon cancer
Researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center have identified the role of inflammation and silencing of tumor suppressor genes in early colorectal cancer.
Understanding the biology of the disease could lead to the ability to identify those at high risk of developing colon cancer. Chemopreventative drugs could then be given to this subset of high risk patients to delay the onset of cancer. An exciting prospect!
Understanding the role of CIMP in early colorectal cancer
CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) can occur in 30% of colorectal cancer patients and has been shown to be an independent predictor of survival with 5FU in early or adjuvant CRC. CIMP may play an important role in tumor development. Expect to hear more on the link between inflammation, DNA methylation and early development of CRC.
Identifying subsets of patients will support rational drug development
Researchers have now shown that BRAF(V600E) mutations occur in 8-10% of colon cancers. The ability to identify this subset of patients could allow therapeutic options to be specifically targeted at them, in the same way that ALK+ lung cancer patients now receive crizotinib. Previously though, we didn’t know why vemurafenib was showing lack of efficacy in this group. New research has now given us some pointers.
As Sally noted on Pharma Strategy Blog, “a combination of vemurafenib and and an EGFR inhibitor such as as erlotinib, cetuximab or gefitinib, might be a useful clinical approach to try therapeutically in patients with colon cancer harboring the BRAFV600E mutation.”
As we learn more about the biology and early development of colorectal cancer, the ability to undertake rational drug development will increase. This is good news both for patients and for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies who want to successfully bring new products to market.