Shifting Variables in Life Sciences and How to Thrive

Innovation + Transformation Leadership Life Sciences Readiness

The amount of change in the world of life sciences is undeniable and the velocity of change has only intensified. Future State was founded as Tech Prose in 1982. We worked with a corporation, Tandem, that doesn’t exist anymore that utilized a technology, Fortran, which is only used in the narrowest of applications these days.

The first Biotech and one of our key clients, Genentech, was founded only six years prior to Tech Prose and gave birth to the now mega biotech industry.  As Future State has evolved so have our clients, the industry as a whole and many other verticals.

While there are a number of factors influencing our client’s transformation efforts there are four that stand out as we continue to support organizations in their drive to keep pace and stay ahead.

Personalized Health Care (PHC) and Patient Centricity

Personalization and customer centricity have always been king in consumer goods. The healthcare industry is starting to feel the individuals influence and will be, if not already, following suit. We as patients are beginning to demand more information, more specialized treatments, and more flexibility and portability of our treatments and solutions. The promise of leveraging genomic data for a N of 1 patient population is real, and the industry is racing to be the first to do this profitably and with maximum impact and benefit.

Data as an Asset

Anonymized clinical trial data is an accelerator for drug development, and when matched with increasingly available genomic data, and the access the individuals and their doctors have to that data, it increases. This makes personalized healthcare possible, but beyond that, it drives a level of data sharing and access to scientists and research that is both disruptive to the scientific community and mindsets of owning your data (publish or perish), and simultaneously beneficial to patients and society as whole.

Pressure to Reduce Costs (Drug and Healthcare System)

Biotech is shifting from blockbuster drugs to smaller disease areas and rare disease research, which is aligned with the trend towards PHC, and patient centricity, and fueled by the increase in genomic data. It also means we must have a breakthrough in how to bring medicines to market in a more affordable and sustainable way.

With the approval of Biosimilars legislation, the business model for Biotech companies must evolve and fast. We’re already seeing the cost/operating/business models change across early development, through product development and into commercialization.

Smaller and More Restricted Sales Force, Complex Access and Payer Landscape

One of the most immediate impacts of this shift, compounded by changes to healthcare regulations and the payer landscape and drug reimbursement models/access, is the reduction in the size of the sales force, and a drive towards a more integrated field force that meets the needs of patients, payers and providers as a holistic team.

As we engage with our Biotech clients around these trends, we are also seeing a more supportive FDA emerge which together signals an overall increased desire to lower costs and focus on rare diseases. As a result, we see faster and more approvals from FDA, especially for rare disease/breakthrough therapies. This key enabler of enterprise and systems change is and will continue to be critical to long term success.

In order for corporations, large and small, to keep pace with these shifts, and even more, anticipate and plan for them there are key attributes we must ensure are present within our client’s organization.

Become Connected: Break down silos and hierarchy, bringing data, stories and insights forward transparently to all stakeholders inside and outside of their organization.

Establish Purpose (and live by it): Develop a compelling vision, sound strategy, and a culture that values learning, experimentation and innovation throughout the organization and at all levels.

Leverage Technology: Incorporating technology, and data, as an enabler to individuals, teams and customers in service of that vision and purpose.

Engage the Customer: Bring in and respond to the voice of those who are impacted and benefit directly, and what matters to them, as a central and governing force for decision making and resource allocation.

Continuous evolution is the name of the game in the marketplace and in the world today or maybe it’s always been that way and the accelerated pace of it all has placed a magnifying glass on the current state. Either way, it is a reality that all organizations must contend with in order to thrive in every possible future state.

BY SHANNON ADKINS