Technology is a key enabler of agility. Agility is key to competing
The traditional biotech commercialization model saw companies submit a Biologics License Application (BLA) before they start the search, selection and onboarding of a partner to commercialize disease state education 6 to 8 months prior to launch. Over the last 15 years, however, medicines have become more personalized, seeking initial indications for high areas of unmet needs to expedite regulatory approval processes, and as a result there are significantly more competitors vying within each given disease state, and coupled with the need to build a commercial footprint with limited resources. The subsequent need to educate healthcare professionals on mechanisms of action and unmet need across diverse patient populations has meant that disease state education activity is beginning earlier in the clinical lifecycle of a drug.
According to Adam Gelling, President, Evoke San Francisco, the optimal time to begin disease state education is often during phase two of clinical development. This is where medical marketing and communications firms will start performing opinion leader work and data synthesis as well as building awareness through Medical Science Liaisons, non-personal tactics, medical conferences and by working with societies, charities and disease-specific non-profits.
There is a broader need for these biotechs to begin shaping a long-term brand strategy to deliver a personalized experience across the marketing mix. Agile marketing approaches coupled with modern data and analytics infrastructure ensure that these campaigns can resonate with key audience stakeholders and initiate the awareness and adoption curve that will best position a brand for immediate commercial success. For example, understanding key opinion leaders alongside their influence networks, can help create brand awareness for a company and its drug candidate when done correctly, which can help expedite clinical trial enrollment and ultimately build differentiated preference versus established and emerging competitors.
Where these companies often need to invest more thought at this phase is on their technology approach. They need to think about how they can use cloud-based solutions and digital engagement platforms to better compete against organisations that have deep and broad resources to put behind their candidate but are mired in dated, expensive technology systems and data synthesis processes that are cumbersome to navigate.
Start-up biotechs must focus on building connected architecture, and how they use and optimize data to be more nimble when building brand, content and engagement strategies. Some companies have systems that make it difficult to run true targeted omnichannel or customer experience-based campaigns. The challenges here can be manifold:
- They have to route data through legacy servers and numerous business units and processes
- Analytics teams are not buying longitudinal data
- Information is siloed and firewalled between sales and marketing
- There is a lack of in-house experience in the creative use of data to activate communication flows
- They lack expertise in building activity-enhancing experiences through ‘Next Best Action’
- They’re so highly regulated that it tends to take them a long time to make decisions and strategic changes.
Technology, agility and collaboration form a particularly powerful dynamic – with one feeding into, enabling and benefitting from the other. For example, to activate the commercial side of a biotech business and leverage data and technology to better engage HCPs and patients, operations teams, medical groups need strategic commercial partners to input their expertise and data. But they need a platform to enable this.
One of the key challenges to overcome for many emerging biotechs is to try to build agility within a company where there are competing priorities, a lack of understanding and often a lack of experience. During early phase development, nearly every minute of the company’s time is taken up by focusing on the product and trials. But some key decisions, or non-decisions, can be made that have long-term implications.
A simple thing like getting regulatory, communications and legal teams together to review brand messaging and proposition statements can become unwieldy, slow and add risk. An incorrect statement could severely hinder a drug program and its commercial prospects by disclosing data to regulatory bodies without the broader context expected in formal submissions. Having the right technology to enable this collaboration alongside the strategic oversight to inform decision is essential.
Right technology, right partner
Delivering integrated brand strategy, marketing and communications and investor relations for emerging and breakthrough biotech businesses, Evoke offers strategic guidance on scalable technology platforms and data architecture that an emerging biotech should invest in to help facilitate collaborative processes and underpin agility.
This is a real point of differentiation for emerging biotech companies. With the right data and an experienced strategic partner such as Inizio Bitoech, they can leverage inherent agility to pivot their approaches and make decisions so they are always targeting their audiences in the right channels, with the right message at the right time.
Find out more: https://inizio.health/what-we-do/our-business-units/biotech/