As type 2 diabetes reaches epidemic proportions, it has become one of the most active development
and commercial areas across the pharmaceutical, diagnostic and device industries. Companies are facing
higher hurdles to succeed in the market due to growing competition, heightened awareness of safety risks,
and greater scrutiny from FDA on surrogate markers. Developing successful treatments for obesity, a major
comorbidity of diabetes, continues to challenge companies. The lack of a foundational therapy like
metformin places unrealistic efficacy goals on new products. Finally, innovation in diabetes complication
treatments require stronger knowledge of mechanisms and biomarkers.
Case Examples of Our Work in the Diabetes Focus Area
Relationship with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: Health Advances has an ongoing relationship
with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), working directly with the Board of Directors
and research management team to ensure research investments are optimized and the funding portfolio
is properly balanced to achieve JDRF's goals. Health Advances initially developed the long-term
strategic plan for JDRF's research team in 2006.
DPP-IVs Inhibitors - Brand Strategy: A large pharmaceutical company asked Health Advances to help
it understand how a novel DPP-4 inhibitor in Phase II should be positioned in the marketplace,
depending on the outcome of the clinical studies that were still in progress. Health Advances
developed a 3x3 matrix with nine different product profiles, reflecting different outcomes from
the trial program. For each product profile, a positioning statement and key marketing messages
were developed in the form of a "message ladder." This tool helped to illustrate how each one of
the nine profiles could be positioned in a way that made the product look attractive and its profile
Insulin - Lifecycle Strategy: Health Advances worked with a large pharmaceutical company to
develop a 10-year perspective and portfolio strategy for its diabetes franchise. Health Advances
developed a worldwide insulin market model based on data from 28 countries to understand key product
share dynamics and to forecast market opportunities. Implications from this analysis were used to
prioritize portfolio initiatives and secure funding for key programs.
Insulin Delivery and Continuous Glucose Monitoring - Growth Strategy: Leveraging its strong foundation
in delivery systems and glucose monitoring, Health Advances assisted a major pharmaceutical company with
an assessment of the influence of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) on the competitive
dynamics of the insulin market. Health Advances quantitatively modeled the financial impact of a number of
strategies, including potential partnerships with major insulin pump and CGM companies.
Obesity - Customer Analysis and Market Forecast: A clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a product
to minimize a common side effect of many obesity drugs asked Health Advances to provide a comprehensive overview
of the current and future obesity market. This analysis provided the foundation for developing the clinical trials,
brand positioning, and a potential partnership strategy.
Surgical Approach to Obesity and Diabetes Management - Commercialization Strategy: Health Advances developed
the commercialization strategy for a venture-backed company developing a less invasive surgical approach to
treat obesity. A key finding shifted the strategy of the company towards the segment of obese patients with
type 2 diabetes. The business plan has been used by the company to successfully raise $50MM from
top-tier venture capital companies.
Diabetic Neuropathy - Development Strategy: A large biotechnology company developing a novel agent for peripheral
neuropathy requested that Health Advances review its brand strategy for the diabetic neuropathy indication.
This product was one of the first drugs in development with the potential to modify disease progression.
Key focal points were a customer segmentation analysis and an assessment of the rational and emotional arguments
that could be supported through pivotal and post-market clinical studies.