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BioPharma Preview: IBM’s Heather Fraser on Orchestration in the Life Sciences and Healthcare Ecosystem

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Heather Fraser, registered pharmacist and global life sciences & healthcare lead at the Institute for Business Value, an IBM think tank, gives an ASAP Plenary/Quick Takes talk and Deeper Dive session about “Redefining Partnering in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Ecosystem” on Thursday, Sept.10 at the 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference, “Alliance Expertise at the Forefront: Leadership for the Ecosystem,” at the Revere Hotel Boston Common. Fraser shares insights from her talk in a Q&A for the Q3 2015 issue of Strategic Alliance Magazine. Here’s a snippet from the interview. 

Why is there such a huge interest in ecosystems, especially in the healthcare and life sciences industries? 

There are two significant healthcare drivers—societal and economic. On the societal side, there are demographics, an aging population desiring care and quality for better outcomes, HIPPA and compliance regulations, the FDA continually putting pressure on the industries. Additionally, there is a shortage of the right skills and capabilities for this changing healthcare system. On the economic side, there are technology-driven forces, such as the proliferation of mobile devices and the Internet. Collaboration is becoming much easier because we’re seeing a system that is much more connected and open.  Technology is much faster and more scalable than in the past. We can almost look ahead of technology requirements, and the cost of using that technology to drive out innovative practices is reducing. Analytics are also helping to drive insights and decision-making. So you can look ahead at the requirements companies have and the cost of using that technology to drive out innovation.

 

How do alliance managers know they are on the right path during a time of uncertainty? Are there key areas to focus on when partnering in the ecosystem? 

The traditional guideposts are not always present. But one certainty is that you need to have mutual goals in place that align around the customer and patient. If you are serving the patient, you are on track. Putting the patient at the center is something the life sciences companies haven’t necessarily done in the past. Many now are going toward targeted treatments, such as measuring the patient for glucose levels in their blood. There are diagnostic devices businesses collaborating with diagnostic companies. Another device might measure the impact of insulin when injected into the system. Services such as a nutritionist advising on correct diet or a fitness clinic on exercise could be another component. Companies are looking beyond the pill to produce a total solution for the diabetes patient. Another example: Novartis just put out a heart drug. Typically, drugs for heart diseases are relatively low cost. But now they say the pricing will be based on patient outcomes. Think payment based on outcomes vs. those based on the sale of a pill.

 

What does your “Quick Takes” talk focus on?  

How ecosystems need orchestration, from a mutuality standpoint. Orchestration requires coordination and arrangements, and some companies are leading the way. We’re seeing IBM Watson Health acting as an orchestrator—bringing not just the platforms, the cloud, but also ecosystem members to the table, and the analytics skills as well. Philips is another example—helping with medical devices. They are very much getting in the healthcare space and acting as an orchestrator. Otsuka Pharmaceutical—they’ve got a therapeutic area for patients with mental health problems, and they are using technology, analytics, and alerts to make sure patients stay on their medications. The other component is mutuality—look at how we’re going to coordinate, setting goals we agree on, setting up mutual standards. There is the example of Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim working together on diabetes—bringing the best and brightest scientists from both companies and really trying to accelerate getting the molecules to market. They are still competitors, but they wanted to come up with a set of standards where they had a mutual interest for that particular need and set of drugs. The ecosystem is about the complex web of interdependent enterprises and companies, public or private, with patients at the center. But at the end of the day, the goal is to create and allocate mutual business value for the whole of the ecosystem. You have to understand what you’re putting in and how you’re going to drive that value out.

Tags:  ASAP BioPharma Conference  Boehringer Ingelheim  collaborating  ecosystems  healthcare drivers  Heather Fraser  Institute for Business Value  life sciences  Lilly  mutual business value  Philips 

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2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference Focuses on the Importance of Alliance Expertise and Leadership in the Life Sciences and Healthcare Ecosystems

Posted By Cynthia Hanson, Thursday, July 2, 2015

Biopharma is undergoing a sea change, driven both from within and without. Scientific, regulatory and market forces are introducing new alliance partners and partnering models. “Alliance Expertise at the Forefront: Leadership for the Ecosystem,” the theme of the 2015 ASAP Biopharma Conference, Sept. 9-11, in Boston, Mass., addresses this dynamic and the impact it is having on the role of alliance management.  The conference will explore why alliance managers need to get out ahead of this fundamental shift in the increasingly interconnected network of new and existing partners; why ecosystems are beginning to emerge now; how they differ from traditional markets; what new incentives will emerge, and the best ways for individual organizations to respond.

 

The two-day event happening over three days at the Revere Hotel, Boston Common, kicks off late afternoon Wednesday, Sept. 9, with conference keynote Niven R. Narain, co-founder, president, and chief technology officer at Berg Health, a Boston-based biopharma company known for its use of big data and artificial intelligence algorithms to isolate the root causes of disease and develop personalized treatment options for patients. Narain will discuss an innovative partnership Berg has formed with an array of hospitals and research teams to discover the first clinical biomarker for pancreatic research using its technology. The afternoon’s events will conclude with a reception to connect with partners and colleagues, and network among some of the industry’s leading alliance professionals.  

Thursday morning will feature “ASAP Quick Takes,” patterned after the well-known “TED Talks,” delivered by outstanding speakers in a plenary session. Heather Fraser, global life sciences & healthcare lead at IBM’s Institute for Business Values, will present a very timely talk “Partnering in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Ecosystem.” The session offers data and case studies on ways that biopharma companies are partnering within the ecosystem to optimize performance and address the challenges of today’s regulatory and market challenges. According to Fraser, ecosystems are transforming much of the way healthcare and the life sciences industries operate, including why and how they are partnering and with whom.  

“Alliance Leadership for the Healthcare Ecosystem,” by Cindy Warren, vice president of alliance management at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, will address what today’s alliance professional needs to tackle the changing biopharma environment. Partnering models are rapidly changing, and it requires keen skills, adaptability, agility, finesse, and the potential of someone running a business, says Warren. With over 21 years of broad industry experience, Warren will provide the tips and insider insights alliance managers need, what she looks for in her team, and where she sees opportunities for alliance professionals to deliver differentiated value that can set companies apart.  

Following the Quick Takes, “Deeper Dive” sessions feature both more in-depth presentations by the plenary speakers and exchanging ideas with peers in solution-focused roundtable discussions on a range of leadership issues and alliance management challenges. The remainder of the conference features a variety of interactive presentations, mini-workshops and expert panels addressing the skills and expertise alliance professionals need today. A few of the topics covered include negotiation, alliance decision making, managing transitions, and working with CROs to enhance innovation.  

“Alliance Expertise at the Forefront: Leadership for the Ecosystem,” attracts partnering executives, academics, innovators, managers, patient advocates, service organizations, and other life sciences and healthcare representatives from countries around the world. For more information on registration for this not-to-be missed conference in the midst of one of the most vibrant biopharma hubs in the world, visit www.asapweb.org/biopharma. Save on your 2015 ASAP BioPharma Conference registration by becoming an ASAP member today! For more information, contact the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals director of membership services Lori Gold at+1 781-562-1630 ext. 203 or lgold@strategic-alliances.org.

Tags:  alliance management  ASAP BioPharma Conference  Berg Health  Biopharma  Cindy Warren  Ecosystem  Healthcare  Heather Fraser  IBM’s Institute for Business Values  Janssen Pharmaceutical  Life Sciences  Niven R. Narain 

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