Home Insights Biotech commercialization: Understand your market and patients to produce an accurate and meaningful forecast

Biotech commercialization: Understand your market and patients to produce an accurate and meaningful forecast

Inizio is on hand to support decision-making in all things commercial. Our experts work alongside client commercialization teams to identify and plan the best way to sell and market their products.

One such expert is Sese Abhulimen, President, Global Decision Optimization, and Chief Methodologist for Propensity4, an Inizio Engage company. In this article, he shares some insights for biotechs — big and small — on what they should remember when launching their products.

Do you know the size of your market?

The pharmaceutical landscape has changed a lot in the last decade, with the rise of treatments for niche and orphan diseases, and increased competition.

The market has seen a notable spike in treatments for oncology, orphan and rare disease indications — with development ongoing for a diverse range of unmet medical needs. That means far more approvals and far more products are reaching patients. In 2021, for example, out of 50 FDA approvals, 27 (54%) were first-in-class and 26 (52%) focused on rare or orphan diseases. Of the 50, 16 were biologics, with that same trend continuing both in 2022 and into 2023.

As a result of this increased market competition, biotech companies need to be more strategic in their approach to launching and marketing their products. The onus is firmly on emerging biotechs to fully realize the value of what they’re creating.

Before setting off on their development journey, biotechs should ask themselves the following questions:

  1. How big is your market?
  2. When should the commercialization process start and what should it involve?
  3. What steps can you take to improve your marketing and other relevant activities?

To help answer these questions, companies would be well advised to bring in an experienced strategic partner as early as possible.

No two biotechs are the same, and each company — no matter the scale — has to face their own set of development and commercialization hurdles. Startups and emerging biotechs have the added worry of making sure that every penny counts.

Working with the right partners early can make all the difference to companies planning the most successful approach to selling and marketing the products they’re developing.

Identify and understand your patient types

It’s important that emerging biotechs identify the right patient populations, develop strong value propositions and have a solid understanding of the market access landscape.

For biotechs, knowing their customers and where their forecasts will come from is essential for driving performance through effective promotions and better relationships. If the forecast is off, the methodology can pinpoint the issues, such as lagging indicators in patient types A and B, HCP and Plan targets X and Y, or certain geographies. By identifying these issues, plans can be adjusted. This level of depth and integration in the methodology is what sets it apart and drives success.

Identifying the patients and physicians who drive the forecast and tying patient and physician data together should inform the specific targeting strategy for the product. As every market and indication is unique, the approach has to be adapted and modified every time.

Our strategic partnership provides assistance in a range of areas. The Inizio Biotech team can:

  • Help to identify patients likely to benefit from a product and obtain information on their different needs and challenges
  • Locate patient types suitable for a specific molecule, as well as design and develop the unique treatment experiences of these patient types
  • Provide healthcare professionals to assist with research and patient support

Our team also supplies a myriad of other strategic considerations that influence commercialization efficiency and success.

Produce a forecast that makes sense

In today’s pharmaceutical landscape, commercial success transcends mathematical models and research insights to support commercialization decisions. It now involves synthesizing and integrating the differentiating patient, physician and payer insights into business decision support tools. This allows brand teams to create more accurate and meaningful valuations and forecasts that are tied to the operational and strategic imperatives of their brands.

It’s important that products are valued and understood not only from a clinical but also from a commercial perspective. Adequately bridging and translating the clinical profile of the molecule into patient, physician and payer insights ensures that the molecule valuation and forecast produced are accurate. Additionally, it also ascertains alignment with sales and marketing imperatives.

To effectively integrate data, analytics and insights, biotech businesses need a specific mindset and approach. Customizing methodology, from the analytics used to the data collected, is key to ensuring that all aspects remain integrated.

This methodology should be built around four pillars:

  • Customer
  • Performance
  • Promotion
  • Relationships

For biotechs, knowing their customers — including patients, physicians and payers — helps better lay the landscape for their future performance forecasts. Choosing the right mix and cadence of promotions that effectively build better customer relationships helps drive performance. If the forecast is off, the right methodology can pinpoint the issues and plans can be adjusted.

This level of depth and integration in the methodology is what sets it apart and drives success.

Data driven commercialization

The right approach to marketing and selling products requires sophisticated and data-driven commercialization methods, which many biotech companies struggle to implement effectively. It’s important to keep up with the market changes to stay competitive and maximize the value of new molecules.