How to prepare for next frontier innovation -Big Pharma perspective for Taiwanese Biotech companies



How to prepare for next frontier innovation

-Big Pharma perspective for Taiwanese Biotech companies


Dr. Markus Kalousek

Global Head Search & Evaluation

Novartis Pharma BD&L

Basel, Switzerland


The Biotech and Pharma industry need to reinvent themselves in order to succeed in the face of today’s industry challenges. The Healthcare System is facing major cost pressure. Payers demand true innovation which transforms patients’ lives in order to justify the premium pricing which is required to support investment into innovation. Drug prices need to offset other Healthcare costs in order to be sustainable. This has caused two waves of change in the industry. As a first wave, the room for incrementally improved treatments becomes smaller and innovation will move from fast-followers to truly differentiated treatments. Platforms have shifted from small molecules, to antibodies and other Biologics.  As a second wave, innovation moves from significantly improving patients’ signs and symptoms to treating the root cause of disease and changing the trajectory of disease, i.e. Disease Modification. This is supported by a shift to even newer modalities, such as e.g. cell & gene therapy.

Hence, the treatment of diseases is at the cusp of a new revolution. During the history of drug discovery, traditional experience was replaced by systematic screening and molecular design of new pharmacological treatments, which are directed against specific disease targets. By hitting one target in a highly specific manner, the therapeutic effect is maximized while minimizing potential undesired effects and increasing the therapeutic window. We are moving to a new era where we orchestrate several targets or pathways, customize treatments to patient sub-populations, offer holistic solutions to patients which include Devices and Digital approaches, and modify patients’ disease by modulating the immune system, inducing regeneration, and changing the body’s cellular and genetic make-up. This helps us move from symptom modification to changing the fate of the patient’s disease, aiming for cure.

After succeeding with true innovation as per above, Biotech companies often seek big pharma partnerships to tap into their expertise, resources, global presence and commercial experience. In order for partnering discussions to be successful, it is helpful to be well prepared, and understand how Big Pharma assesses opportunities. The second part of the talk will explain this based on examples from Novartis.


Disclaimer: This presentation shares my personal views, which may not necessarily be the views of Novartis.




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