What is the biggest obstacle for the life sciences industry? Yes, a productive R&D organization is up there. However, it is not the biggest hurdle. Negative public perception is the number one challenge. The “pharmaceutical company” label is negative and has hindered the value of both exceptional R&D people and innovative commercial people who are doing great work. The good news is that we are finally at an inflection point that will encourage a new commercial model while improving the negative perception that runs rampant. Negative perception aside, what can life science companies do to transform themselves? General Electric and IBM transforming from product companies to service companies are examples that we have all heard countless times. Three possible scenarios applied to life science companies include: 1. Wrapping a product around a pill For years we have heard how life science companies should focus on services around a therapeutic area and not just a treatment option. For example, offering behavioral interventions around diet and exercise for patients with type-2 diabetes as well as a treatment option could improve patient outcomes. 2. Transparent data liquidity Lack of data liquidity is hindering innovation among academics and life sciences. Sorting out who owns this data and how to make it accessible will unlock its power to be used for predictive analytics. Achieving a secure exchange of information across life science researchers and clinical care providers would increase efficiency and productivity. For example, once this exchange of information is available in oncology, predictive analytics can be applied to help researchers gain insights from larger patient populations with similar pathologies. 3. R&D collaborations New and innovative business models focused on IP should be created that empower anemic R&D teams. The current investment in drug discovery, development, approval and marketing is far too large. For example, a new model could extend collaborations from discovery through approval allowing experts who are most appropriate to a particular challenge to provide solutions. This approach would create a virtual team where IP is shared among people focused on a specific challenge. Could life science firms follow the trajectory of transforming themselves from product providers to service providers? Simluations of these new commercial models using software is a low-risk way to explore the benefits of these new ideas for life science companies and for the public.
3 Ways Life Science Organizations Can Transform Themselves