R&D performance varies widely…   Fewer novel therapies seem to be coming from the drug industry as a whole.  What is not generally recognized is  how much firms differ in performance and (perhaps) why.   This Lehman analysis shocked many but confirmed that some firms were either “lucky” or were somehow “better designed”.     Later analyses suggest it is their “R&D Architecture”; what new capabilities are designed-in,  that makes the difference.  See this 2010 McKinsey article on where those “value levers” are.

This site examines what  firms have employed to get even farther ahead. Some of these “sea-changes” are still very relevant to the future, other hot ideas are creating  new value and advantages for the next five years.  Let’s explore what leaders are doing to stay far ahead of median performance.  More…    

Key Advances in R&D Returns:

Still Relevant

Current, "Hot"

Automating Serendipity in Pharma R&D

Long ago, many felt that discovering and launching drugs required insight, expertise and not a small bt of “serendipity”.  Others felt that winners were somehow just lucky…  Some firms decided to make their own luck.   Some lessons and principles:           

Precursors to “Six-Sigma” re-engineering


Firms are now looking for any way to improve R&D performance with 6σ black belts.    It was not always so receptive.   Why (and how) it took 10-15 years for BioPharma to find its way…           

The time value of launch

“One day sooner is worth $1M” (in 1990s’ dollars when it was worth something…(How we got there)                    


“What we do in the labs is an art. 
                            How can you measure art?”

One of my favorite quotes from a peer in 1988.   How do we measure improvements in R&D?   … (Upcoming Topic)                      


Falling behind competitors w/ Semantics? 

If you are trying to compete with only 20% of the information your competitors can access, no wonder they are finding the choice in-licensing and disease targets.  But many firms are confused by software and consultant hype.  A more rational approach…

Our  Big Bang challenge of the past decade

Drowning in New Kinds of InfoSome LS firms are “drowning in new information types (not just volumes) which are 10x over a decade ago.  Semantics, text analytics and data federation – are all new tools to capture the value and are proving beyond the hype …  (More) 

Why Big Pharma became a convert to Big BioPharma 

Unique economic drivers may have done more to transform the industry than advances in science … (Find out why)                            

Half of industry pipelines may require images to prove hypothesis 

FDA submissions are now mostly for anti-cancer agents.  Add in CNS and other areas that require images to prove localized efficacy and managing those huge files becomes a “pig in a python”.   How to digest this and come out on top vs. the competition? …  (Upcoming Topic)                 




2 Responses to Home

  1. Ed Han says:

    Well designed blog and I’m stunned by the first graph. I plan to return many times to learn more about how organizations can get away from this black hole sense.


  2. I find this article on innovation and how to “measure” it provocative:

    Consider the statement there that Apple spends about 1/5th of Microsoft as a % of revenues on innovation… How might that guide firms like Pharma and what makes such a difference ? Pure R&D spend is of course a bad metric of “innovation productivity” or ROI. On the other hand the article suggests that a “larger city” is more innovative – the opposite of what we seem to see in industry. Others’ perspectives?

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