The University City Science Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the largest incubator in the US dedicated to the Life Sciences community. DRG Consulting has had an informal partnership with the UCSC for years, and recently developed a formal program for DRGers to serve as healthcare and business advisors.
Read the press release here.
UCSC's mission is to harness the collective wisdom, experience, and assets of the greater Philadelphia ecosystem to advance innovation in Life Sciences—in pharmaceutical, MedTech, digital devices, and elsewhere. Given the similarities between their goals and DRG's expertise, our Head US Market Access Vertical and Managing Partner of DRG Consulting Brian Corvino and team have long provided industry and business advice to UCSC's entrepreneurs and leaders. The nonprofit's Phase 1 Ventures program, launched in 2015, is a startup accelerator that matches entrepreneurs, capital, and people with commercial acumen.
The Science Center has had a history of dedication to growing both the Philadelphia and U.S. Life Sciences ecosystems. Centocor, now J&J's biotech division, and Spark Therapeutics, the first gene therapy company in America, were both borne of UCSC's efforts.
The more formal collaboration between our businesses came about because the UCSC was scaling up in an effort to attract more capital and entrepreneurs. Corvino noted that the partnership was always, "Pro bono, to give back and engage in the local community. DRG has strong bases around the world, but we are committed to contributing to our local communities." The partnership also made sense, he said, because DRG "has a capable workforce that's hungry to be able to grow and personally develop as commercial consultants, advancing their acumen and working with CEOs to grow businesses."
The goal of the program is for DRG employees to have real-world experiences and practice with what Corvino calls 'live ammo.' Since much of DRG's work is supporting mid- and large-sized drug companies, up and coming talent doesn't necessarily have an opportunity to engage clients and substantively impact business strategy; UCSC cases give employees a chance to practice in a startup environment where it's okay to fail. On the flip side, should a case be successful, DRG employees would be at the ground floor of the next big healthcare innovation to cure disease.
The program is open to all DRG employees globally, from any Business Unit. There is often an initial in-person component but the bulk of work is mostly done virtually, and the time commitment is anywhere between 10 to 40 hours per month. In the future, more remote access for DRGers who cannot be in Philadelphia will be made available.
UCSC cases span Pharma, MedTech, and Digital solutions. Corvino pointed out that this program is in its first stage, with goodwill on both sides that will help for future expansion. "We think," he said, "that this represents a unique opportunity for anybody in DRG who wants to play with live ammo and make a contribution. This is the spirit of innovation we want to allow for."
This is only one of many partnerships we're creating to elevate DRG's profile within the academic, entrepreneurial, and talent communities. Other institutions with which we currently work include:
• UPenn Wharton
• Pearlman Medical School at UPenn
• Drexel University
• Rutgers University
All of these allow for teaching, mentoring, Real-World Data exchange, and revenue and talent generation. Corvino wrapped up by asserting, "This opportunity is cool, world class, and something we are proud of." ••