Key Levers for R&D Effectiveness and Efficiency

Optimization needs to occur in two ways: “what is done” (effectiveness) and “how it is done” (efficiency). Key R&D areas that should be re-aligned to increase effectiveness include:

  • From Opportunistic to Focused Innovation: Drive rigor into the selection of new products/solutions. Capitalize more effectively on new ideas that present great opportunities for the company
  • From Full Integration to Partnership: Partner with other companies to manage risk and return on R&D capabilities; outsource capabilities that aren’t central to company strategy
  • From Therapeutic Problem to Differentiated Customer Solutions: Shift from therapeutic R&D that addresses diseases to meeting patients’ needs through curing ailments and fully managing patient conditions. Payors and consumers are demanding solutions, as well as differentiation
  • From a Functional to an Integrated Business Model: Map out an integrated R&D model focused on a specialized therapeutic, customer or scientific area to provide tighter coordination and more rapid decision-making; use comparative effectiveness to bring to market the right drug, biological entity and/or medical device

While “what companies do” creates 70-80% of problems for R&D, companies must not forget to also focus on the other 20%: addressing efficiency gaps to streamline its processes, people and technology. Efficiency gaps are broken out as follows: Technology and Resource Management, Project and Resource Management, Product Development Processes, R&D Investment Guidelines, and Asset, Knowledge and IP Management.

  • Technology and Resource Management: There are few standard technologies to support R&D processes. Where technologies are used, they are used inconsistently, with overlapping duplicate efforts. There is no comprehensive application and information architecture that would allow Life Sciences companies to understand performance across ALL product development and clinical trial efforts. An integrated eClinical platform would provide fully integrated business and technology solutions to minimize duplication and harmonize data
  • Project and Resource Management: Proper project management and associated resource allocation is critical to ensure the right resources are on the right projects at the right time. Project management needs to include a comprehensive, cross-functional approach including: risk management, decision management, issue management, change management, quality management, knowledge management as well as service/metrics management
  • Product Development Processes: R&D also suffers from inconsistent development processes, poor collaboration, and weak customer insight. Developing, implementing and adhering to a standard set of product development processes (e.g. BLAs for vaccines), which include regular collaboration and market insight injection, will enable R&D to develop the drugs that consumers actually want and bring them to market quickly
  • R&D Investment Guidelines: With tightening budgets, talent turnover, and increased competition, an R&D investment strategy is needed for sustained growth; companies need guidelines to mitigate risks and accelerate clinical trial time while reducing spending
  • Asset, Knowledge and IP Management: Proactive collection of knowledge is critical to ensure continuous learning and constant improvement of current practices. In addition, codification of knowledge into repeatable processes and methods is also important to create intellectual property assets

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