How is the life sciences industry landscape changing in terms of outsourcing commercialization and what role is EVERSANA playing in that?
The life sciences industry is going to see a massive transformation over the next decade, mainly due to increasingly complex innovations in the R&D space. Commercialization is the natural next piece of the puzzle to ensure medicine reaches patients effectively, and here the numbers speak for themselves. Around $60 billion is spent globally on discovery and clinical testing, and a whopping $150 billion on the commercialization process. Seeing the immense value in this pillar of the industry, we founded EVERSANA with the plan to help streamline all the processes behind it. In five years’ time, we managed to grow to almost 7.000 employees and $1 billion in revenue. Our goal is to bend the curve on commercialization effectiveness, which will prompt a lower cost of the entire process and, ultimately, better outcomes for patients. All these efforts will flow back into making medicines more available and more affordable, while also keeping the innovation pipeline going.
To what extent does precision medicine pose a challenge to drug pricing and commercialization?
The pharma industry is getting so sophisticated in what it can develop and tailor that new products being launched are aimed at increasingly smaller populations. With so many types of cancer out there, even cancer will quickly turn into a rare disease since the definition of "rare" in the U.S. commonly refers to patient populations of 200,000 people or less per year. As a result, we will need to find new approaches when it comes to pricing therapies. The Inflation Reduction Act gets a lot of attention but it will actually impact only some of the large volume - low price products that are delivered in the CMS space. This subject rather belongs to the policy sphere than the healthcare one.
The industry got trained on launching large volume - low price products, but today these require much greater coordination amongst all the elements of commercialization. The U.S. has started to adopt frameworks where companies have to demonstrate that the products they release to the market lower the cost of care for a certain population. Most of the patients that benefit from therapies worth $1 million would cost massive amounts of money over their lifetimes. Although this framework based on population health cost impact is new to the United States, it has been used for quite some time in the UK or Germany to drive the pricing of medicines.
What are the strategies that EVERSANA uses to help gene and cell therapy companies successfully launch their products on the market?
Besides the usual pricing and contracting challenges of the industry, gene and cell companies also have some particular issues that need to be tackled: the physical movement of product and the physical movement of the patient. EVERSANA is able to take care of every step of the process, from sophisticated cold chain tracking and storage, to organizing the logistics for the patients. Since gene and cell therapies require select sites where the treatment can be performed, it is of utmost importance to have a strong global network of licensors and other professionals. Additionally, we provide support in advancing value-based contracting - which is a catalyst for innovation.
The pharma industry currently outsources 20% of commercialization to several different vendors and while this approach worked for large volume - low price products, it is not guaranteed it will be a good fit for small population medicine.
The uncoordinated results and the lack of digital data make it very difficult to get a holistic view of the drug's journey. We are recasting this outsourcing in an integrated manner and propelling success through digital transformation in data and analytics. To achieve these endeavors, we started a collaboration with Intouch because we wanted to import their digital software engineering capabilities to continue to pivot EVERSANA's solutions to be more digitally enabled.
What are the main objectives EVERSANA plans to achieve in the coming years?
The long-term plan is to leave a great legacy behind and become known as the company that pioneered contract commercialization in the life sciences industry. This year we will have helped support the launch of some ten products, so we are confident that we will have a learning advantage that will push us forward. Creating global simultaneous launch capabilities in all major markets around the world is a major point on our to-do list. When we will be able to disseminate a great innovation in 18 months instead of ten years, the price of medicine will surely drop, and the allocation of funding will improve. It is a moral imperative to make sure that accessibility to life saving therapies is equal across all markets. Since commercialization is not working properly at the moment, we are driven to fix it in order to avoid unintended consequences that might negatively affect patients' lives.
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