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Asia’s emerging biopharma companies continue making headlines with their strong pipelines, but they face a new challenge: taking their success to the next level and sustaining it year after year.  Scaling up both in portfolio size and geographic reach while remaining nimble and innovative requires that companies carefully choose what is core; i.e., what they want to keep in-house, and what is non-core; i.e., what can be acquired through outsourcing and partnerships.

Increasingly, companies are turning to strong global partners to access expertise, technology that would be too expensive or time-consuming to build or buy. Here are five areas where Asian emerging companies can achieve significant benefits through partnering:

  1. Advanced analytics.  Big data is shaping both clinical program design and operational execution for biopharma.   It is allowing companies to gain insights into safety profiles and risks in real-time – this promises to be a game-changer in how trials are designed and monitored. Asian companies can maintain their competitive advantage by working with partners with access to deep data who can bring innovative analytics strategies like data modeling  and clinically meaningful data analysis to their processes.  These techniques improve decision-making to support faster and more accurate Go/No go decisions. They also enable project teams to more readily reassess assumptions throughout the trial, supporting an adaptive design methodology. 

  2. Innovative technology: The best strategic partners can provide state-of-the-art technology and a proven set of systems to support global projects from end-to-end. This ensures all data are captured and stored in the same place, which reduces the risk of errors, improves knowledge sharing and communication, lowering the number of touchpoints needed to advance your product to the market.  

  3. Proven processes: A good partner knows how expedite trials and ensure all the necessary data for approval are captured. For example rather than waiting for a trial phase to end before taking the next steps, they will proactively gather results from an earlier-phase trial and have all of the planning and pre-work done in advance so the team is ready to move into that next phase of the trial without any time lost. They will also conduct robust due diligence at every single protocol to ensure the project doesn’t face the unnecessary delays and set-backs that derail so many trials. 

  4. Global regulatory knowledge. Most small start-ups have limited understanding of the global regulatory environment, and without proper guidance, they can make simple mistakes, like failing to collect the necessary real-world data, which can derail an approval process in another country. A strong global partner won’t let that happen, because they know from the outset of any project, what it will take to access every market in the world.  

  5. Post-approval support: Once a company achieves regulatory approval they need a partner who can help them master the market analysis, communication strategies, safety protocols, registry use, and myriad other steps to make the commercialization process successful.

Together, these five areas can significantly improve an emerging company’s probability of success.