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The Active Ingredient features expert insights and commentary from leaders of ZS Associates' global pharmaceuticals practice.

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The Growing Challenge of Product Differentiation

Posted by Emily Mandell on Wed, Apr 17, 2019

Joshua Hattem co-wrote this blog post with Emily Mandell.

The pharma industry faces a growing problem: The return on development investment is declining. The industry is compensating by pivoting to the next disease area (such as NASH) and technological frontiers (like cell and gene therapy). Pharma leaders may be disappointed if they believe that they can fix the problem by simply adding products to their pipeline that target these future opportunities. Take Gilead, which recently had to write down $820 million of its Kite Pharma acquisition as it cut Kite’s leading cell therapy for multiple myeloma. According to FierceBiotech, this decision to terminate the CAR-T’s clinical development “reflects the increasing competition in the anti-BCMA category.”

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Topics: go-to-market strategy, product launch, Life Sciences, Differentiation, competitive differentiators, pharma companies, product differentiation, pharma strategy

How Gamification Can Help Pharma Companies Play to Win

Posted by Rachael Pius on Fri, Mar 29, 2019

Maurice Solomon, Victoria Summers and Melissa Visintin co-wrote this article with Rachael Pius.

Whether we like to admit it or not, many of us know the unique rush that comes from swiping a series of multicolored jelly beans in Candy Crush. We’ve experienced the thrill of landing a triple word score in Words With Friends, and we’ve known the satisfaction that comes from—of all things—successfully harvesting a field of wheat in Farmville. Gaming is a universal pursuit, triggering not only our competitive instincts but also our desires for achievement and recognition. And with the rise of app- and social-media-based games, there are more people playing than ever before: The number of online gamers is expected to reach 2.7 billion by 2021, according to gaming analytics firm NewZoo.

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Topics: patient experience, marketing strategy, digital health, pharma marketing, pharma strategy, gamification, patient support services

First Launch Commercialization Strategy: Go It Alone or Partner?

Posted by Renuka Agarwal on Fri, Feb 01, 2019

Ben Hohn, Cody Powers and Judith Kulich co-wrote this article with Renuka Agarwal.

The 2019 JPMorgan Chase Healthcare Conference kicked off with a bang as Eli Lilly announced its acquisition of Loxo Oncology for $8 billion. Loxo, a young biotechnology company that partnered with Bayer to launch its first asset, Vitrakvi, in 2018, isn’t a unique story: In today’s environment, the number of first launches for U.S.-based companies—defined by ZS as the first marketed assets of companies that have FDA “novel” status—is rapidly increasing. There were only three first launches from U.S.-based companies in 2011 compared to an astounding 16 first launches in 2018, primarily in oncology, according to ZS research.

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Topics: Pharma, Pharma Industry, Life Sciences, commercial landscape, commercialization, european market, US-first launch, pharma commercial model, pharma strategy, JPMorgan Healthcare Conference, JPM2019

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