Early stage life sciences companies are appropriately focused on the hurdles of product development and regulatory approval, and the need to maintain cash flow during the critical early years. Led by scientists and inventors, these organizations often lack commercial experience and skill sets. While critical to the success of the business model, the commercialization strategy is not fully developed or tested, as a result of this lack of appropriate resources. As such, these companies often underestimate the complexities of the sales and marketing processes, and encounter challenges upon product launch that significantly inhibit adoption and can jeopardize the viability of the organization. Issues commonly observed include:
- Value proposition not adequately demonstrated and not supported with sufficient data to convert customer interest into adoption
- Market influencer and key opinion leader (KOL) buy-in not fully obtained and not leveraged to drive customer adoption
- Failure to attract the high-value customers that drive rapid sales growth volumes via high patient volumes and wide referral networks
- Failure to appropriately consider commercial partnering vs. development of internal sales and distribution capabilities
- Healthcare economic story not clear or sufficiently compelling to justify financial outlay
- Critical commercial support items often deficient in the areas of contracting, training and post-sale support
Early stage companies often elect to outsource commercial strategy development to quickly access required market skills and relationships without investing in incremental infrastructure. This approach allows management to fulfill the time-critical requirements of strategy and planning while maintaining much needed focus on the developmental, regulatory and funding concerns crucial to survival.
Supported by seasoned industry professionals, and an extensive network of clinicians, scientists, life sciences executives, and payers, BDF has helped a wide range of life sciences organizations at this critical first stage of commercial development, building a commercial strategy and a practical execution plan in firm alignment with the organization’s overall business objectives to drive near-term success.