Pharmaceuticals & Biotech

Creating shareholder value in pharma with optimal portfolio strategy

By Joshua Hattem, RJ Rovner, and Lyle Wistar

Jan. 27, 2023 | White Paper | 14-minute read

Creating shareholder value in pharma with optimal portfolio strategy

Flying from New York to San Francisco often takes more than an hour longer than doing the reverse. That’s because it takes more time, not to mention fuel, to fly against a jet stream than with one. If pharma innovation can be compared to aeronautics, then new molecular entities (NMEs) are the planes, R&D spend is the fuel and complex, ever-shifting market forces are the jet streams—those macro-environmental factors that can function either as tailwinds behind or headwinds against commercial success.


While no one can predict with precision how valuable a therapeutic class currently under development will be in 10 years, this white paper puts forward a framework for modeling future therapeutic area headwinds and tailwinds. When considering the value of investing in future innovation, we recommend companies evaluate TAs along three axes:

  • Macro forces that will exert future headwinds or tailwinds
  • Cost of market entry
  • Company position and unique capabilities

So, what’s the optimal pharma portfolio strategy? It depends. For pharma companies looking to place long-term bets, there’s no blanket “right” answer. This white paper offers a framework for pharma leaders to make company-specific decisions about where to spend their innovation dollars.

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