Modern drug launch: Consultancy promotes new go-to-market strategy for small-to-medium drugs

New drug launches get a makeover from pharma consultancy Indegene with AI-driven model to cut costs and time to profit. (Pixabay)

Is there a better way to do drug launches today? That’s what pharma and healthcare consultancy Indegene is aiming to find out with its next-generation commercialization platform.


The new Indegene artificial intelligence-driven launch model aims to be a more effective and cost-friendly modern approach for smaller-revenue drugs. The model uses telesales reps, targeted digital communications and a host of data and analytic tools such as physician affinity models and prediction scores to maximize launch budget and time to profitability. Its sweet spot? Drugs with projected annual sales in the $100 million to $450 million range. Genus Lifesciences' Yosprala, its first launch subject, is priced at $33 per 30-day supply under Genus.

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“If a molecule is not a $500 million to $1 billion launch, we believe there is no business case for following a traditional launch,” Gaurav Kapoor, executive vice president at Indegene, said. Traditional launches are too expensive, complex and time-consuming he added; Indegene’s digital-based model cuts down on all of those.

Genus recently acquired the rights to market Yosprala, and aspirin and omeprazole combination drug that the FDA approved in 2016 for patients who need aspirin for secondary prevention of cardiovascular and stroke events and who are at risk of developing aspirin-associated gastric ulcers.

While Yosprala is Indegene’s first drug launch with the new model, Indegene has been working on the platform and optimizing it with other mature or growth drugs over the past five to six years, Kapoor said.

With Yosprala, the launch will begin with a combination of six to eight media channels, such as email, social media, websites, peer-to-peer connections, and direct mail, customized to each physician. Indegene creates proprietary digital doctor profiles that include preferences for media channels, types of content, devices, and frequency. That information is combined with physician prediction scores to further customize and target marketing. Telesales reps—dedicated to one drug or possibly two if working at the same pharma in the same therapeutic area—handle direct physician contact with FaceTime-like chats, data-sharing and follow-up calls.

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Yosprala, with estimated annual sales of $100 million to $150 million, is an ideal candidate for the new model, and Indegene is already working with others in pharma drug pipelines to launch when approved.

“For a company like Genus, committed to affordable care and better patient outcomes, a targeted physician engagement approach using cutting-edge digital commercialization capabilities augurs well for our mission," Genus CEO Jeffrey Moshal said in a statement.

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