SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

August 23, 2007 07:20 ET

Input From Pharma Marketing and R&D Teams Key to Successful Drug Development

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - August 23, 2007) - A recent study highlights the need to eliminate favoritism and to opt for collaboration from both marketing and R&D on product development-steering committees. Pharmaceutical intelligence leader Cutting Edge Information examined the relationship between R&D and marketing teams in early-stage drug development, revealing that ongoing tension between the two functions poses challenges to companies trying to achieve full integration. At the most progressive companies, altering company governance to equally weigh R&D and marketing in decision-making processes has resulted in better-informed resource allocation and pipeline decisions. (

Marketers must educate themselves about early-stage research and development, while R&D team members should be aware of what insights marketers can offer to R&D. Pharmaceutical companies may be blindly investing in a dead-end compound if consideration is not given to the marketers, who can provide insight about the commercial potential of a compound.

Collaboration must occur early in development. By mid-stage development, R&D and marketing have developed their own biased opinions about the direction of a drug and will be less likely to cooperate effectively. One major pharmaceutical company conducted a project to identify commercial opportunities and then presented the results to R&D teams to help them shape their trials and goals. This project met such success at the company that it has become an indispensable practice which helped the company refine its R&D programs to aim for commercial health.

"Uniting R&D and Marketing for Integrated Early-Stage Market Preparation," available at, includes strategies and tactics from 15 top pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Novartis, Merck, and Sanofi-Aventis. Failing to unite marketing and R&D in the drug development process may cause companies to spend millions on drug candidates that may not be commercially viable.

"Once R&D and marketing teams are linked by company structure, mutual communication is crucial," said Elio Evangelista, research team leader at Cutting Edge Information. "In addition to ensuring communication, companies must provide equal voice to R&D and marketing in portfolio planning, resource allocation and pipeline decision-making."

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