Commercial Assessment

IDSC brings its clients a wide range of commercial assessment consulting services as illustrated above.  These services are typically used by clients anywhere from candidate drug selection through to post approval.  These services are described in more detail below:

Assessing Strategic Options to Commercialize Products in the Development Pipeline

The future viability of your company depends on the commercial success of the products currently in your development pipeline.   The challenge for many biopharmaceutical companies is that they have little to no commercial infrastructure and are faced with the decision to out license, partner, or build an internal commercial organization.  To assist you in determining the best path to commercialize your products, IDSC collaborates with you to fully understand your product, market, customer base and competitors, and advise you on the strategic option(s) available to you that will best meet your company's financial goals.

Product Valuations for Out Licensing

A major challenge you face when out licensing a product is getting the most value possible for your product from your partner.  Jeff Simpson, Director, Commercialization at IDSC, has extensive experience in valuing products identified for both out licensing and in licensing.  Jeff collaborates with you and your team to develop a sales forecast and estimate the development, commercialization, and access costs in order to calculate a net present value (NPV) for your product.  Valuations can be performed at any stage along the development continuum and can either assume commercial success or be adjusted for the probability of success.  A valuation can also be estimated for the in licensing partner to help you determine whether or not your potential partner believes they are getting a good deal.  The outputs of these valuations will help prepare you for negotiations with potential partners to increase the probability that you will get the most value for your product.

Assessing Commercial Opportunities

Early in the product development process, typically prior to the pre-clinical phase, you will want to have a sense of the commercial opportunity for your candidate drug before investing in its development program.  IDSC collaborates with your team to fully understand the potential features, attributes and benefits of your product, and then performs independent research to assess the current market competitors and their products, identifies potential future market trends regarding medical need, competing companies, new chemical entities and barriers to entry, and drafts a market landscape document.  The resulting market landscape document will provide an assessment of the commercial opportunity for the compound in question to inform you in making a "go/no-go" decision on its further development.

Product Development Portfolio Prioritization

Critical to your success is the timely development and commercialization of products in your development portfolio in order to have adequate funding available to continue developing the remaining candidates in your pipeline and to bring new candidates into your development portfolio.  To assist you, Jeff Simpson, Director, Commercialization at IDSC, collaborates with your team, and conducts additional research where required, to understand and assess the commercial opportunity and value of each candidate in your development program.  The output of this exercise will be a prioritized list of candidates for development that will provide direction in deciding which projects to fund to increase the probability of timely cash flows to fund additional development projects.

Lifecycle Planning

As your drug candidate progresses through the development process you will want to develop a product life cycle plan that has the potential to enhance its value.  Jeff Simpson, Director, Commercialization at IDSC, collaborates with your team and performs independent research to fully understand and assess the commercial opportunity and estimates the value of each potential additional indication, line extension, formulation, etc. for the candidate drug.  The output of this exercise will be a prioritized list of additional development projects designed to enhance the value of the compound through expanded use in new markets, improved compliance, additional formulations, and extended patent protection.

Advisory Board Meetings

As your drug candidate progresses through the development process you will want to develop a product life cycle plan that has the potential to enhance its value.  Jeff Simpson, Director, Commercialization at IDSC, collaborates with your team and performs independent research to fully understand and assess the commercial opportunity and estimates the value of each potential additional indication, line extension, formulation, etc. for the candidate drug.  The output of this exercise will be a prioritized list of additional development projects designed to enhance the value of the compound through expanded use in new markets, improved compliance, additional formulations, and extended patent protection.

Opinion Leader Development: Creating Awareness and Interest in Products Early in the Development Process

As early as possible in the development process you must create awareness and interest in your product(s) with future prescribers and end-users, as well as potential partners.  Jeff Simpson, Director, Commercialization at IDSC, collaborates with your team to develop a key opinion leader (KOL) development strategy, including key scientific messages, KOL identification and selection, and specific communications tactics.  Implementing a KOL development strategy and associated tactics will build a contingent of experts who will be able to incorporate scientific information and data provided via specific communications tactics into presentations at speaking engagements, short written communications, and select publications to increase awareness for your new product with potential prescribers, patients and partners.

Valuing Partnership Opportunities

Whether out licensing, in licensing, co-promoting, co-marketing, you will want to assure that the deal struck is the best deal you can get and that it is a "win-win" for both you and your partner.  Before entering negotiations, Jeff Simpson, Director, Commercialization at IDSC, collaborates with your team to construct a customized financial assessment tool reflecting the type of deal structure and specific term you anticipate.  During the negotiation process, various deal terms can be input into the tool to provide you with an expected NPV for both you and your potential partner, which you can then assess to determine whether or not the deal is acceptable to you.

 

Communication Strategy Development

A well planned communication strategy will increase the probability for creating awareness and interest in your new product with your target audience and end users.  The communications plan should be developed prior to the first release of data on the candidate in development.  Data released at different phases along the development continuum, from pre-clinical through Phase IV for instance, will appeal to different audiences and you will need to assure that the appropriate messages are being received by the target audiences.  Different vehicles will be used to communicate the data, i.e., posters, abstracts, symposia, publications, promotional materials, etc. and will require the expertise of different agencies, i.e., medical writers, publications agencies, public relations agencies, advertising agencies, etc.  Jeff Simpson, Director, Commercialization at IDSC, has lead the development of communications strategies for several global brands.  Using this expertise, Jeff leads our clients through the process of developing a comprehensive communications strategy for drug candidates as well as guiding them through the process of selecting strategic agency partners to implement the communication plan.

Selecting Advertising and Public Relations Agencies

Selecting advertising and public relations agencies of record is typically initiated immediately prior to the first presentation of clinical data in poster presentations and abstracts during medical congresses.  The process of selecting these agencies must be thorough as the agencies become an extension of the commercial and medical organizations of the client, the relationships often last many years, and the costs associated with contracting these agencies is high.  It is important to not only have agencies highly skilled and successful, but there must be good chemistry between members of the agency team, as well as a good chemistry between the agency team and the client's commercial team.  Jeff Simpson, Director, Commercialization at IDSC, has lead the selection of several advertising and public relations firms.  Using this expertise, Jeff guides our clients through a process that allows them to evaluate the pitching agencies to demonstrate their technical expertise as well as their ability to be a collaborative partner.

Positioning and Promotional Message Development

Product positioning research generally is initiated when the NDA is submitted, and promotional message development research follows.  In this setting, Jeff Simpson, Director, Commercialization at IDSC, collaborates with our client's team, the advertising agency of record, and a market research firm specializing in product positioning research to develop the materials required to perform the research and manage the advertising agency and market research firm personnel to develop the positioning for the product.  To develop the promotional messages for the product, a process similar to that employed in the positioning development would be used.  Our clients use the product positioning and promotional messages resulting from this research to guide the development of the creative campaign for use in advertising and promotional materials.

Competitive Intelligence: Defending a Marked Product

Conducting competitive intelligence is part of a defense strategy employed by companies that already have a product in the market when another company has submitted an NDA for a competing product.  Specific information on the new product and competing company is collected via publically available sources and informal discussions with investigators, key opinion leaders and company representatives during national and international medical congresses.  Information gathered is then used to develop a defense strategy and tactics to minimize market penetration by the new competitor.

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