Biotechnology - Case Study 1

Tue, 09 June 2020 10:15


A gene therapy manufacturer was commercializing its gene therapy for a rare disorder. The main objective of the research was to analyze the potential penetration for its gene therapy globally. In the initial phase, the gene therapy seemed four times more expensive compared to the previously approved drug therapy. The client was interested in figuring out which factors would influence physicians to prescribe an expensive gene therapy over the drug.Additionally, there were two gene therapies and one drug in the clinical pipeline in phase II and phase III. The client requested data on peak sales against all the molecules in the pipeline.


The study was conducted in different phases, which are briefly discussed below.

  ·Exhaustive secondary research to study market dynamics

At first, to gaina basic market understating, we studied the market dynamics, including drivers, restraints, opportunities, and ongoing trends, through exhaustive secondary research. At the time, only one drug was approved for the treatment of the disorder. Thus, it was necessary to have a clear market understanding of what all treatment therapies were in the pipeline.

  ·Primary research to identify molecules in the clinical pipeline

Several industry experts working actively in the field of the disorder were interviewed to know which candidates were in the pipeline, their mechanism of action, type of therapy, clinical phase, and study completion date for the candidates passing phase II of the clinical trials. It was found that there were several molecules in the pipeline, from preclinical to phase III.

  ·Categorization of pipeline molecules into drugs and gene therapy for market engineering

We categorized the pipeline molecules into drugs and gene therapy based on the therapy type. We considered the molecules that had cleared phase II for market estimation. Based on the clinical study data and a few primary interviews, we estimated the commercialization year for the therapies. Further, for market engineering, a comparative analysis was done, wherein the lifecycle of the existing drug was studied to determine the adoption rate, pricing, and growth of the molecules in the ancillary markets.

  ·Formulation of the population model

To confirm the study findings, we developed a population model for estimation, wherein disease epidemiology, diagnosis rate, available treatments, treatment penetration, and cost of the treatment were considered to estimate the potential of each therapy, namely drug and gene, across geographies. The population model validated the market estimates and forecasts derived earlier. Through our growth projections and disease epidemiology analysis, we estimated the peak sales for the gene therapy candidate along with the other phase II and III molecules in the pipeline.

  ·Pricing analysis

Later, to understand the adoption of gene therapy, price sensitivity, and physician perception in prescribing, an extensive pricing analysis was done. The developer of the gene therapy had estimated the pricing at four times that of the existing drug therapy. Thus, to understand the pricing difference, we derived the long term treatment cost, where it was found that the gene therapy needs to beadministered only once to treat the underlying symptoms, whilethe drug therapy needs to beadministered year after year, which proved the cost-effectiveness of the gene therapy in the long term. Finally, using the population model, we also analyzed what all factors can influence the prescription of gene therapy among physicians, which helped the client to formulate marketing strategies.


With the above methodology, we provided the client with market forecasts for their gene therapy and other substitute therapies.Withour analysis ofconsumer (physician) behavior and pricing, the client was able to finalize the pricing and formulate an effective marketing plan for the gene therapy. Our report also helped the client identify potential markets.