Build Research Teams of Expertise
Pharmaceutical companies can increase their R & D productivity and improve their chance for discovering innovative new products by building research teams of expertise. The use of “of expertise” is intentional (rather than “with expertise”). “With expertise” implies there is some expertise within or among the team. “Of expertise” suggests the whole team has expertise. The context of building research teams of expertise is different than most pharmaceutical companies have considered in the past. While they may have had the intent or felt they were, this takes it another step or two beyond where most companies have probably even contemplated. In most organizational structure, because of hierarchy and title, thee may not even be room for more than one or two experts of this stature in an R & D organization much less on the same team. Remember we are talking about individuals with “world class” or “best in the industry “credentials. Here is an example of putting together an entire research team of experts, where there expertise is directly related to the therapeutic area of interest.
- Academic research scientists with expertise in the molecular, biochemical and basic sciences for the pathophysiology of the disease or therapeutic area
- Biochemistry specialists for potential, already available, or pipeline therapeutics
- Genomics and proteomics specialists in the disease
- Formulation and drug delivery specialist (if and when needed)
- Pharmacokinetics disease specialist (if and when needed)
- Biomarker and diagnostic tool discovery and development researchers
- Clinical drug developers of products for the disease
- Practicing clinician specialists (MDs)
- Regulatory specialists for the therapeutic area
- Marketing managers for the therapeutic area
Unlike research teams of the past which have been build around technology platforms, targets, or compound candidates, these teams are built around a broader, deeper, and more comprehensive approach to diseases and therapeutic areas. Rather than just finding another drug candidate, the daily objective is to “finding a cure”. Along the way to a cure, the team will be developing a broader and deeper knowledge base with a better understanding of the disease and the underlying pathophysiology. There will be an increased probability of finding, developing, and marketing disease mitigating treatments, new diagnostic tools, and better ways to manage these diseases from a patient perspective. Eventually, if there is a cure to be found, this team should have a decided advantage for finding it.
Again, the objective is not to just fill these positions with “qualified” people but to identify, recruit, and hire or acquire the “best in the industry” or “world class” expertise for the therapeutic area of interest.
In the next post we’ll look at the other two functional areas for building teams of expertise to increase the probability for success in the evolving new healthcare market.