Despite the significant volume of data and insights gleaned from the current explosion in real world data, we should not overlook or underestimate the importance of primary market research in solving the needs of biopharmaceutical manufacturers. This is particularly true in oncology, where increasingly, companies are demanding more from conventional approaches to complement other data sources.
The oncology landscape comprises a bewildering array of diseases, treatments, indications, combinations, lines of therapy, clinical trials, and populations. Together, they form a complex system of pathways and intersections that pharma’s commercial teams have little choice but attempt to navigate, essentially, without a map.
What manufacturers are missing is an accurate picture of the clinical journey, and particularly treatment sequencing, within this complex oncology ecosystem. Armed with the right data, companies could maximize the potential of existing brands and select the most appropriate positioning for emerging agents. More specifically, they might be able to answer important questions like these:
- Where is my product positioned vs. competitors in the treatment journey?
- What are physicians’ most-frequent treatment sequences, which of my competitors is benefiting and how can I defend my assets share and position?
- What are the market-relevant treatment scenarios according to oncology experts?
- Where are the untapped business opportunities, how can I capitalize upon these, and how should I manage marketing messages for optimal growth?
- How can I optimize clinical trial design and ensure a competitive edge for my pipeline asset?
The good news is, it is actually possible to answer such questions. By combining the deep expertise of oncology analysts with physician insights from primary market research, companies can uncover disease-specific, sequential treatment patterns in commercially relevant treatment scenarios, with drug share mapped to the treatment journey. In other words, powerful quantitative sequencing analysis can illuminate drug positioning across physicians most frequent treatment sequences.
Take non-small cell lung cancer as an example. With the right expertise and well-executed primary research, it is possible to drill down to very specific patient subpopulations (such as EGFR TKI-treated and EGFR-T790M-mutation-positive upon second line metastatic disease), highlighting physicians’ most-frequently selected treatment sequences and uncovering where brands are positioned in the treatment journey. For example, it may be that Keytruda is infrequently used as a first-line treatment, and when it is used second line it is normally post-Gilotrif treatment. Or that Opdivo may be more commonly selected second line, and typically post-Tarceva.
While it’s difficult for pharma companies to obtain such information on an ad hoc basis, a groundbreaking solution from DRG, Treatment Sequencing, is taking a giant step towards fulfilling this unmet need. The new offering builds a detailed picture of the clinical journey and optimal sequences, initially within six key indications: renal cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, non-small-cell lung cancer, breast cancer, and chronic myeloid leukemia in the U.S. market; and prostate cancer in EU5.
Within each indication, Treatment Sequencing offers companies a valuable snapshot of drug positioning and uptake to facilitate forecasting, helping them understand which brands to position against and how to defend share, as well as uncovering untapped populations for potential expansion. It also helps brand teams to better manage commercial resources and execute marketing messages.
For more information on Treatment Sequencing, click here