Innovation in Pharma 2013: Top tips for the future

In Clinical Trials, Drug Discovery by Cameron1 Comment

Last week saw Deloitte publish it’s fourth annual report looking at the return on investment pharmaceutical companies are seeing in their research and development projects.

The report, co-produced with Thomson Reuters, looks at the current state of development pipelines in 12 top life science companies, and calculates a projected financial return for their products in the late stages of the pipeline.

The report broadly suggests that the state of financial returns on R&D investments is at a low. In fact these returns have dropped in value by 24% over the past four years. So what can the pharmaceutical industry do to survive and reverse this negative trend? Well the report offers a number of suggestions as to how pharma companies can work to add value to their late stage products emerging from the R&D pipeline:

Increase Revenue
Scientific Risk Taking Allow researchers to undertake activities which may have intangible value but foster innovation
Long-range Planning Continually hypothesise about how to exploit emerging opportunities across the sector up to, and beyond 15 years
External Alignment Align with academics, consortia, participation programs with the potential for innovative developments
Combination Therapies Develop combination therapies, for example in oncology or infectious diseases, which involve intervention at multiple points in the disease pathway
Engage Payers & Reimbursers Engage with payers and reimbursers through all stages of product development in order to better understand the product value, and the evidence required to secure reimbursement – this can help companies make decisions to terminate research programs earlier
Talent Management Rotate R&D staff through commercial and regulatory functions, as well as through strategic innovation or delivery partners.
Big Data Analytics Data must be made available from across life science organisations. The more data that can be analysed, the easier it will be to predict results both in terms of research and in terms of market predictions.
Analysing Data Proper data consideration can cut discovery time, identify unmet market needs, and maximise the value of existing assets by repositioning compounds.
Good Data Practice concerns around patient information currently limit the accessibility of real world data. Companies should establish industry good practices through consultation with stakeholders

Reduce R&D Unit Cost
Outsourcing Synthesis If synthetic rout design is protected through intellectual property, synthesis can be outsourced in order to reduce costs.
External Innovation Around 60% of innovation came from outside the big pharma players. Companies would do better to embrace this and invest in financial structuring, talent scouting, and deal-making
Flat Organisations A flatter organisation structure with smaller teams will allow more accurate budgeting and accountability based on the delivery of value-linked milestones
Talent Incubation Companies should use external CROs as talent incubators, a long side the traditional recruitment through academia, in order to ensure a steady supply of personal trained in both R&D and commercialisation

Reduce R&D Cycle Time
Know your Strengths Companies should work to identify their core strengths and capabilities, and should only take into development compounds which can take advantage of these capabilities
External Integration Companies should utilise managers with an ability to properly value and integrate external workflows to move beyond simply transactional relationships
Sharing Knowledge Companies should be willing to impart their own knowledge and experience to partners in order to improve the productivity of external researchers
Regulators In an attempt to decrease time to market for breakthrough therapies, regulators, such as the FDA, are allowing shorter more efficient routs to market
Patient Recruitment Clinical trial recruitment can cause significant delays in development. Recruiters need to take advantage of publicly available data in order to produce a more targeted recruitment drive
Infomatics Informatics, along with analytics,can allow for rapid hypotheses generation. Examples in research planning include: de-identified-cohort-discovery; managing clinical data sets; cross-trial clinical data mining; ‘omics’ intergration and identification of surrogate endpoints

Grab the full report here, or check out Deloitte’s infographic of key R&D figures.

If you want to hear more about building up evidence for financial projections, demonstrating the value of your products, applying real world data, why not attend Evidence 2014 London to hear about these topics, and much more. Click here to download the conference brochure now.


  1. fereshteh Barei

    I would like to discuss the ebook about the futur of generic industry in 10 years.
    I think it’s not a lottery and things are more predictable than before because they can be evaluated and estiated by the economic and informatic. This is just a matter of evolution of health insurance and reimbursement. The rest depends of the mindset of each company and whther they are innovation oriented or not?

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