ASAP BioPharma Conference Panel: Alliance Managers Get More Patient-Centric

Posted By: Jon Lavietes BioPharma Conference,

The patient experience is now at the forefront for everyone in the biopharma ecosystem—healthcare providers, academic researchers, biotechs, and yes, pharmaceutical companies themselves. For the latter, evidence that the old product-oriented approach to business is morphing into a patient-centric one can be seen in the proliferation of chief patient officers within the industry. Recent developments on the research side of the drug development life cycle also point to an increasingly patient-centric operation—in particular, the COVID-19 vaccine trials opened patients’, CROs’, and pharma companies’ eyes to new patient-friendly ways to test drug candidates, such as telehealth visits and home treatments.

Everybody is now expected to operate with the patient front and center in their minds—including alliance managers, which is necessitating a shift in how they select partners, devise alliance strategy, and execute collaborations. Christine Carberry, CSAP, a consultant with more than 25 years of experience at Biogen Idec, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, and FORUM Pharmaceuticals who now helps biopharma startups build alliance and program management capabilities, will be moderating a panel of fellow longtime ASAP members and biopharma veterans at the 2021 ASAP BioPharma Conference titled "Partnering for Patient Impact" that will reveal how alliance managers can start to incorporate the patient perspective into their ongoing responsibilities.

Patients Are a Virtue for Partnerships

According to Carberry, the panel’s objectives are threefold: “We want to be able to have participants get some insights on how alliance management professionals can create patient-centricity both within their company and across their alliances. That’s the first objective. The second is to be able to measure the impact alliances are having on the patient experience. What we mean by that is, to think about how you can improve the patient experience [through] an alliance. The last one is to talk about how people in alliance management positions are innovating in terms of the patient experience and their outcomes.”

Carberry will be joined by Chandra Ramanathan, PhD, global head of pharma R&D open innovation at Bayer; Jeremy Ahouse, CSAP, PhD, vice president of alliances at clinical-stage immuno-oncology company Merus, N.V.; and Mark Coflin, CSAP, vice president and head of global alliance management at Simcere Group. Collectively, the panelists have been deeply engaged in partnerships involving a relatively new player in the biopharma alliance ecosystem: patient advocacy groups. They will give attendees a glimpse of the “three-way dialogue” occurring right now between pharma companies, their partners, and advocacy groups around “the design of a clinical trial and what the patient experience would be like,” said Carberry, who added that the panel discussion will also dive into the ins and outs of “partnering with those patient advocacy groups to help patients know about a new trial or new potential treatment—[to] increase the awareness of an option they may otherwise not know about.”

Advocacy Group Alliances Improve the Patient Experience

The patient experience may have once been exclusively the domain of clinical, medical, and commercial groups. Today, however, alliances with advocacy organizations such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and PanCAN are critical to bringing successful compounds to market.  

“Everybody in a biopharma organization needs to be patient-centric,” said Carberry. “So, thinking about it as it relates to ‘How can I as an alliance manager, an academic, a patient advocacy person make sure that the alliances that we have are making the patient’s experience better?”

"Partnering for Patient Impact" is one of 10 livestream sessions taking place at the virtual 2021 ASAP BioPharma Conference on Sept. 27–28. The program will also cover AI’s role in delivering precision health, how to deliver operational excellence in a hybrid work environment, alliance-centric business models, and cross-cultural alliances, among several other topics. The conference will also feature an in-depth look behind the scenes of the Johnson & Johnson/Merck partnership that helped bring COVID-19 vaccines to the general public. Create a login for the new ASAP website and register for the conference today to learn everything you need to know about biopharma alliance strategy and execution in the current climate!