AI & Pharma: Start Small But Think Big

Posted by Arun Shastri on Wed, Jul 24, 2019

This blog post is the first in a series on the impact that AI will have on different business aspects of pharma.

AI has been here for many decades, but the buzz around this latest wave of AI is louder than any I can remember. You can find articles about AI in every publication and medium. These articles deal mostly with broad themes, rarely delving into how AI might be applied in our work lives. There are plenty of stories about self-driving cars and the latest human expert to be outwitted by an algorithm. But what about the unsexy business that most of us find ourselves in? How can we apply AI to improve customer interactions, maximize product launches, optimize clinical trial operations, or find patient insights?


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Launching Conversational AI: Six Keys to Success

Posted by Satish Jha on Tue, Jul 16, 2019

Vaibhav Bansal co-wrote this post with Satish Jha 

A witty, ever-reliable butler is a must-have for crime-fighting billionaires — just ask Bruce Wayne. The closest thing that Tony Stark has to a butler is his AI assistant Jarvis, with its alert, intelligent and unaffected responses to Ironman’s perpetual snark.

While we are still years away from creating a chat bot as sophisticated as Jarvis, the recent advancements in NLP, (natural language processing, the technology that powers chat bots,) have been very encouraging. Someday, we believe these AI agents will become so advanced that they allay the common belief that AI can’t be as perceptive or intuitive as humans. Though such a future is a few decades away, conversational AI is already solving countless problems and driving better engagement and experience.


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Putting Agile Launch Into Practice

Posted by Ben Hohn on Wed, Mar 27, 2019

Judith Kulich, Mike Kelly, Christina Corridon, Mary Ann Godwin and Kapila Viges co-wrote this blog post with Ben Hohn.

Most large pharma and biotechnology companies have historically relied on a singular "best practice model" for preparing for launch. Highly structured and rigid launch readiness models made sense in a world where similarities between launches were significant. As pipelines and portfolios have evolved dramatically—now reflecting launches in specialty, rare disease, combination therapies, personalized medicine, and follow-on indications instead of mass-market blockbusters—a rigid, one-size-fits-all model for launch excellence isn’t sufficiently relevant for each launch. A new launch excellence model that’s more agile, flexible and reflective of the varied launches that a company faces should be the goal.


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Collaboration Sparks a New ‘Value of Drugs’ Discussion, and Pharma Needs to Speak Up

Posted by Joe Stevens on Wed, Feb 06, 2019

The industry’s current value and payment system is being scrutinized as pharma companies continue to expand their traditional, treatment-based drug discovery models to include potential cures. The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) is collaborating with the U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health to address some of the perceived challenges in pharmaceutical valuation methodologies, namely how the industry should be evaluating high-cost, but potentially curative, treatments.


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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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