Pharmaceutical Project Management

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Per definition of PMI (Project Management Institute), project managers across different industries are assigned by the performing organization to achieve the project objectives. This is a challenging, high-profile role with significant responsibility and shifting priorities. It requires flexibility, good judgment, strong leadership and negotiating skills, and a solid knowledge of project management practices. A project manager must be able to understand project detail but manage from the overall project perspective. As the person responsible for the success of the project, a project manager is in charge of all aspects of the project including, but not limited to:

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Creation of Drug Development Plan

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Drug development can be described as the process of obtaining the relevant information necessary to be included on your drug prescribing information. Development Plan (DP) is the strategic document that guides the lifecycle of a new product from the pre-clinical lead compound stage through Lifecycle Management (LCM). LCM starts with the first approval of BLA/NDA (first Marketing Authorization) and encompasses development of new indications. In mature pharma organization, DP is approved by the governance bodies. Once approved, it can be regarded as the agreement between executive leadership/board of directors and the program team involved in the discovery, development & commercialization of the product. The DP is a living document and should be amended when the development strategy changes. Continue reading

Qualitative & Behavioral Characteristics of Great Leaders

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The quality of leadership within the organization is critical from a business perspective. Yet, according to Gallup’s research, the majority of leaders are not equipped to take on the leadership roles. This status quo hurts not only employees but also decrease the performance of the organizations. Much could be achieved by providing relevant training and development opportunities to the managers and leaders. Many companies though do not invest in leaders’ training and poor management comes at the expense of U.S. economy, costing $398 billion annually Continue reading

Loss of Exclusivity & Preservation of Product Value

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My previous post “Patent & Regulatory Exclusivity in Pharma R&D” I have indicated that the pharmaceutical company holding the original pharmaceutical product patent may attempt to fight the loss of exclusivity (LOE). The same article already covered the R&D aspects of the patent and regulatory exclusivity protection, leaving the commercial side to further analysis.

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What is Target Product Profile?

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The Target Product Profile provides a structure for the scientific, technical, clinical, and market information, which is the basis for the product development strategy. The Target Product Profile (TPP) is the critical component of the Development Plan (DP), and its existence is necessary to achieve a desired commercial outcome for the particular product. TPP provides all stakeholders with a clear vision of the product objectives and guides for R&D actions and decisions. TPP is a dynamic document that should be reviewed and updated throughout the drug development process. The FDA has also published the guidelines on how to develop a TPP, and the agency encourages its use as a tool to better frame the technical details of the product at advisory meetings. Continue reading

Patent & Regulatory Exclusivity in Pharma R&D

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When one thinks about the role of the patent attorneys, it may not be obvious how paramount are they for the life science industry. Do we perceive them as the pharma’s secret agents on an ongoing, critical mission? If not, we should. They work behind the research and development scene, making sure the company can maximize the value of the drug candidates and related inventions. This article, in the form of Q&A, covers the patent and regulatory exclusivity topics in biopharmaceutical R&D. Continue reading

Getting Pre-Candidate Drug to First IND

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The 2016 analysis by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development estimated the average cost to develop and gain marketing approval for a new drug is ~ $2.87 bln. Drug development is not only costly; it is a lengthy, laborious and usually, sequential process. Discovery phase can take 2-10 years. A drug discovery projects initiate because there is a disease or clinical condition without suitable medical products available and it is this unmet clinical need which is the underlying driving motivation for the project. Continue reading

Investing and Partnering in Drug Development

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During my career, I have been on the both sides of the financial partnership table. I have led ‘due diligence’ process together with my drug & business development teams at pharma. Currently, I represent the third party capital providers assessing development risks for various pharmaceutical assets.  Since this is an area of interest for many of my blog readers, this article will explain the basics of the investments and partnerships models for pharma and biotech companies. Considering that there are fundamental differences between the pharma and biotech organizations and how they manage their portfolio strategies, the article is split into two parts:

  • Part 1 will cover the basics of the large pharma partnering models with third-party capital providers
  • Part 2 will focus on partnering models for different types of biotech companies

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Costs Management in Pharmaceutical R&D Projects

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Finance is a broad term describing the management of money and other valuables, which can be easily converted into cash to achieve economic objectives of the given organization. The usual structure of the financial department in large, mature pharmaceutical company includes Tax Group (scope: tax declarations & optimization, transfer pricing), Accounting (scope: external reporting, financial data management), Corporate Finance (scope: treasury & capital markets, M&A, investor relations), Controlling (scope: internal reporting, budgeting & planning, business valuation), plus potentially additional groups. Continue reading