Thursday, September 22, 2016

How to Develop a Nose for Innovation

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Philip Blake, President & CEO, Bayer is giving an advice on how to develop a nose for innovation and talks specific experiences he has had that helped him on this journey.

You will find a number of people who’ve been in the industry, have lived in some ways through the golden age - the age where there’s been a willingness to pay and be able to clearly demonstrate the value the innovation machines delivered over the last few decades.

I had the good fortune to start out as a sales rep

That amazing time when you go from being in research, and you’re not really sure where the next grant is coming from, and suddenly, a company Bayer gave me £6,250 a year with a small bonus and a thing called Ford Cortina. It’s wonderful when you’re pretty young and start out as a salesperson, which helps understand a little bit about what is this unmet need in medical practice.

What do physicians really value

I found that it is increasingly valuable to know what physicians actually value. Something that helps me every day, particularly when the commercial people have a program. In the two or three minutes our consultants actually have with a physician, they can always link back to how this is actually going to work.

Learn how to play the “corporate piano”

I was fortunate to spend some time within the headquarters in Leverkusen. I always believe that’s really important to get to your corporate headquarters and figure out how to play the “corporate piano” as I call it – to learn how it actually works there.

I was very lucky because the visionary who was leading Bayer at the time, a guy called Professor Horst Meyer, he was trying hard because he thought the way you generate value is you generate value by shaping research and development. His view was that Bayer was all about innovation, that we do our best at the commercialization. We would never be as good as, as he used to call them, the American companies, but his view was if you get innovation right, then even if you have a commercial machine which is sort of average, you’ll be okay. His view was: without innovation, even with an extremely good commercial machine, you are not going to do well.

So his goal was to get valuable innovation. So Professor Meyer tried to transplant a few people like myself who came from a scientific background, had been product manager, brand manager, head of marketing in the United Kingdom. He tried to transplant us into the development organization. So I spent five or six years up in Wuppertal which was our research and development facility. It’s where we’ve had our researchers, our development was led out of there. I was in global development responsible for Phase III study design. I sat on the committee which approved study design; Phase II, Phase III. I sat on the committee with made all the phase change decisions. I was a complete fish out of water for a number of years.

It took me some time to figure out how the statistics worked, how you had to power the studies, the benefits of combining Phase II and Phase III studies together, the risk balance you took by doing that.
I was on the committee which was working out how much research we should do inside and how much we should do externally, the benefits of partnering and not partnering, the fact that partnering brings in fresh ideas but also how you deal with a not invented here syndrome within corporations. For me that was the most valuable part of my career. At the time I didn’t realize it.

I’m seeing my colleagues, they are now directors, senior directors, vice presidents… They didn’t have Ford Cortinas anymore. They had bigger cars, more money, big bonuses… You don’t get this sort of the financial stuff when you’re in research and development. Now I came out of that, and suddenly they’re looking for general managers who understand how to play the piano, who know how the corporate organization works but can make these links. I also had a phase when I was responsible for building a factory in Italy. I was useless at that, but project managing, building this pharmaceutical manufacturing place which had all this stainless steel and these machines spinning. We were trying to make solutions so that kids could take pharmaceuticals as opposed to crushing up tablets with applesauce and that sort of stuff. Fascinating time, absolutely fascinating.

When directors eventually come looking for people for general management roles who could assemble the value chain, suddenly for me my career takes off again. I’m now responsible for the Americas for Bayer. And I feel reasonably comfortable because I can converse with most of the people in Bayer and assemble a value chain, understand how the partnerships work when you’re trying to bring innovation in because when you’re running an Americas business you need to be able to do that.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

[FREE WEBINAR]: Learn about Web and Business Solutions with Jamie Beckland

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Jamie Beckland has been delivering custom web solutions for more than 10 years, and built his first social media community in 2004. Prior to Janrain, Jamie led the emerging media practice at White Horse, and has worked as a marketer and technologist with clients including Coca-Cola, Financial Times, Samsung, Wells Fargo, L’Occitane, The Brooking Institution, and many others. He frequently speaks about technology trends and writes for Mashable, Social Media Examiner, iMediaConnection, AdAge, and other publications.

Want to know what you'll learn from this insightful webinar? Here's a bit of context.

You'll learn how to:

  • Acquire and recognize customers across all web and mobile properties while ensuring peace of mind that the right people have access to the right content.
  • Balance global governance and compliance with regional regulations and autonomy when providing access to goods and services to physicians worldwide.
  • Realize ROI with real time customer journey analytics. Segment, activate, personalize, and engage the user continuously throughout their journey.
Want to join in on the conversation? >> REGISTER HERE  << 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

[Infographic] These Innovative Tools Can Reduce R&D Costs

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High costs and long time horizons put immense pressure on the drug development industry to find ways to get drugs to the market faster while reducing cost and time. The opportunity to use special regulatory designations (i.e., “breakthrough drug”) offer the advantage of expedited review to certain types of drugs. However, it’s the embracement of novel technological tools that can truly impact the speed of R&D. Download this SDG infographic for an overview of the many new and innovative tools that can reduce development costs, build and streamline pipelines, and shorten time to regulatory approval. 

Source: SDG

Monday, September 12, 2016

Deborah Waterhouse Speaks Patient Care and the Growth of Digital Medicine

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Deborah Waterhouse, the SVP of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)'s Business Unit, has spent over two decades working across many cultures, with the pharmaceutical industries, with a track record of developing clear strategies, strong alignment and excellent execution to drive shareholder and customer value. She is not only passionate about working in healthcare, but is motivated every day by the opportunity to serve customers and make a difference to patients.

Thankfully, we had the opportunity of speaking with Waterhouse, who'll also be a keynote at our annual Pharmaceutical Strategy Conference (PSA), to share her expert opinion on  how technology has impacted the new direction of biopharma, garnering long-term success and what she is excited to learn more about at this year's conference.

  1. What are the opportunities and challenges facing the relatively new field of digital medicine, and how is the biopharmaceutical industry tapping into the potential for improved treatment and monitoring?

Technology is opening incredible new doors, not only in terms of drug discovery and treatment, but also how we are able to engage and support patients in their day-to-day lives. This is particularly exciting for the field of Primary Care. The possibility of helping a diabetes or asthma patient monitor symptoms in real-time – or, to identify a patient who may be predisposed to risk for those conditions, and monitor warning signs long before symptoms fully present – could change the landscape of disease management and, hopefully, ease the burden for patients, their caregivers, and the health system as a whole.

Specific to respiratory, GSK aims to be at the forefront of the pharma digital revolution. Wearable or remote biosensors and smart mobile health platforms provide the opportunity to get highly detailed and accurate monitoring of a patient’s physiology and behavior. This information may improve our understanding of asthma and COPD, inhaler usage and a patient’s response to medication. We continue to investigate the incorporation of sensor technology with our inhaled medicine portfolio to improve the care options available to those with asthma and COPD.

2. What is the secret to long-term success in your opinion? Do you have any best practices of success stories you’d like to share?

When it comes to leadership – of a small team or large organization – success requires being both boldly committed and thoughtfully malleable.

On the business side, there is both an art and a discipline to leading and growing a thriving business. I find that success requires three key things : listening to my customers and my team, working hard with my leaders to make sure I’ve got the right people in place, and creating a clear vision that everyone can understand and align behind – and all of this needs to be underpinned by the values of the organization.

In terms of personal and professional development, success means different things to different people. Both inside and outside GSK, I try to help women be successful and reach their potential. I think people often assume that successful women have no life outside of work. Much of the coaching I do is with women with families and they aren’t asking how to be more successful in business; rather, they are asking how to find work-life balance and how to manage the guilt they feel from committing themselves to their career.  I’m married to a physician, I have two teenaged kids, and I know  it is not possible to be the perfect mother, the perfect wife and the perfect leader all of the time.”   Life is about compromise and finding the right balance and either becoming comfortable with the trade-offs or choosing another path.

3. What do you hope to learn more about / who do you want to hear from at the PSA conference?

I believe our industry is at a palpable crossroads when it comes to the way we engage with patients.  Providing benefit to the patient, by being a trusted partner in the delivery of healthcare, is the very “license to operate” for any pharmaceutical company – but what are we all doing to make changes and demonstrate commitment to “patient centricity,” beyond discussing it as the latest buzzword?  I am eager to hear from my thoughtful and committed colleagues at other companies about how we make changes within our own organizations, and throughout the industry as a whole, to bring this mission of patient care and patient service to life.

Deborah Waterhouse will be speaking on our PSA panel for COMMERCIAL FOCUS KEYNOTE: DOING WELL, DOING GOOD, DOING RIGHT BY THE PATIENT.

Please join us at our annual Pharmaceutical Strategy Conference (PSA), held at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York City, September 28 -30th.

For a $100 discount, please use discount code: PSA100.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

PSA 2015 Snapshot: Pharma Experts Discuss Market Access for Breakthrough Medicines, What's Next?

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In 2015, our annual Pharmaceutical Strategy Conference (PSA) hosted four pharmaceutical experts during our panel discussing market access and new payment methods for breakthrough medicines.

Our panelists included:
  1. Garrett Ingram, VP, Head of US Market Access, Sanofi
  2. Sam Rasty, PhD, VP & Head of New Products, Rare Diseases Business Unit, Shire Pharmaceuticals in Lexington, Mass. 
  3. Rod Cavin, Managing Director, Health Strategies Group. The company provides market access, insight and the market access research in the US and the U5 for pharmaceutical and device companies. 
  4. Roger Longman, Chief Executive Officer, Real Endpoints. The company does objective drug valuation and pipeline products mostly for payers and pharmaceutical companies.

Moderated by Casey McDonald, Senior Editor of Pharmaceutical Executive

Sam Rasty began the conversation with his views on gene and cell therapies and how they are relative to breakthrough medicines, their value to different stakeholders and emerging digital technologies.
He first poses the question, what are some of these model payment mechanisms, etc.? Here was his response:

There’s the notion of gene therapy as being a single new approach but in reality, different gene therapeutics from a product development perspective I guess, have different product profiles. You’ve got non-viral, vector mediated delivery for gene therapy and viral. Within the viral component you’ve got multiple different viral vectors from a technical perspective that can be used for delivery. Integrating versus non-integrating vectors, different constructs and genetic components in terms of the promoter DNA sequence and regulatory mechanisms within all these vectors, etc.

So within just gene therapy itself as a field, I think, what we’re seeing is an evolution of multitudes of different types of products coming out with the ability potentially to express long term a therapeutic protein which then begs the question how do we commercialize these types of products. What is the reimbursement model? As an industry, we have yet to get to that point to see a product that truly expresses a therapeutic benefit in a one and done manner in as such how do you price and ask for reimbursement of such therapies. So I think we’re at the cusp of seeing that and at the cusp of seeing industry players coming up with novel models such as pay for performance, risk sharing models, annuity based models where you’re reimbursed over a number of years, but we don’t have the evidence yet of long term clinical benefit from any of these types of vectors which I think payers will demand before they agree to any of these mechanisms. But one thing for me that’s clear and perhaps others could add to this is the notion of having to or being required to deliver clinical benefit and being required to show performance before any of these types of products can garner really high levels or reimbursement at the types of prices that are being proposed over a million dollars, etc.

So it’s going to be challenging going forward, but it will certainly keep for a number of interesting conversations

You may download the full panel discussion here >>> 2015 PSA: Pharmaceutical Strategy Conference Snapshot.

This year's PSA, taking place in New York City at the Marriott Marquis Times Square, September 28 - 30, 2016, will also host  panel discussion on Hidden Market Opportunities for Novel Drug Targets. You may download the agenda.