6 ways life sciences platforms help emerging biopharma punch above its weight

By Ty Curry, Siddharth Shah, Jatin Rai, and Nathan Tang

May 19, 2024 | Article | 4-minute read

6 ways digital platforms help emerging pharma punch above its weight

What if emerging biopharma's perceived weakness was actually its greatest strength? Shorter tech stacks, smaller teams and leaner operations may sound like handicaps in a market dominated by global pharma giants, but a new generation of digital life sciences platforms has flipped the script. Because growing companies are unburdened by existing processes and legacy infrastructure, they have an opportunity to compete with less and scale up seamlessly in a dynamic healthcare ecosystem rife with opportunity.


In this article, we’ll explore the six ways digital life sciences platforms fuel insights at every stage in the journey from pipeline strategy to clinical development, commercialization and growth—and how those insights help emerging biopharma organizations outmaneuver competitors, improve the quality, diversity and efficiency of clinical trials, accelerate launch timelines and deliver solutions, experiences and products patients, providers and payers truly need and value. 

What the platform approach means for pharma

Intelligent platforms are shaping the future of the life sciences industry. According to Gartner, digital life sciences platforms are on track to be mainstream within five to 10 years, ushering in a new era of interconnectivity and agility across the healthcare ecosystem.


For growing biopharma companies, these platforms offer a unique opportunity to reach patients and customers without spending years building digital capabilities. Instead, prebuilt, stackable industry tools can help organizations streamline clinical trials, transform the customer experience, fuel growth and thrive in a challenging, competitive market for new products. 

Digital platforms aren’t just accelerators—they create a foundation for growth

Pharma companies need data from multiple sources to maximize the success of their assets and remain fit for growth. Platforms that connect the dots can also create a common foundation to fuel all of the company’s assets, algorithms, apps and insights. With AI-powered connectivity and a self-learning network, platforms will get smarter with each interaction and every new user, geography, or brand, making them increasingly valuable to growing organizations.


Here are six high-opportunity areas where platforms connect insights to give emerging pharma a competitive edge:

  1. Developing a pipeline strategy. Entering the market for the first time can feel like flying blind when you don’t have the right insights to shape your asset strategy and commercial model. Intelligent platforms help pharma leaders see where and when to invest in promising opportunities based on market differentiation, customer needs, care gaps and ecosystem activity. For example, AI-augmented analyses of regulatory and technical success probability can help organizations invest in viable assets and target valuable market areas.
  2. Designing clinical trials. Despite significant advances in scientific innovation, most discoveries take too long to reach patients—and there’s still a pressing need for more patient diversity, equity and inclusion in clinical studies. With better insights, growing biotech companies can begin to remove the barriers stalling progress, make finding and engaging the right patients and sites easier, and spark new discoveries. Scoring patient burden, generating real-world evidence and data, and modeling patient enrollment scenarios are just a few ways to optimize study planning, development and design so companies can bring better products to more people faster. This is especially important the rare disease space where burdens, inequities and delays have an outsized impact on patients and clinical success.
  3. Launching products. Emerging biopharma product launches are still on the rise, with more $500M+ products coming from emerging companies than big pharma in 2022. But according to our recent analyses of U.S. first launches in 2022 and 2023, those who outperformed the competition understood their customers’ needs, their pain points, and the market, using insights and analytics a digital life sciences platform provides.
  4. Optimizing in-market performance. Today, most pharma organizations practice omnichannel marketing. But the planning, design and execution of outreach across those channels isn’t always coordinated, compelling or customer-specific. Intelligent automation and effective monitoring reflecting industry benchmarks and KPIs can jumpstart a continuous improvement cycle. 
  5. Engaging customers. To create a successful digital customer engagement plan that measurably improves health outcomes, you need to understand your customers as individuals and deliver products and experiences that align with their history, behaviors, interests, affinities and expectations. Customer insights help you see the nuances of each person while you track and predict the larger trends within your target audiences’ population and geographic data. Intelligent platforms allow commercial and medical affairs teams to act based on the latest activity data and can trigger appropriate outreach automatically. They can also uncover opportunities to improve patient support programs, mobilize more effective interventions, uncover access or medical barriers and elevate the quality of care. The best part? When holistic customer insights flow through your platform, they fuel patient centricity in every arm of the organization.
  6. Fueling growth. To thrive in a competitive market rife with disruption and opportunities, emerging pharma companies need to scale and grow sustainably. Whether exploring follow-on assets and indications, launching in different regions or increasing the sophistication of commercial execution, platforms let companies plug in just what they need when they need it so they can expand and build swiftly and strategically.

Emerging biopharma companies and those early in their commercialization journey need to act fast, build momentum, closely watch cash burn, and win on smart, agile decisions against the greater spending of big pharma. Without amassing large teams and heavy infrastructure costs, these companies need to generate insights quickly, as they are often in a hurry to make go-to-market decisions. Platforms lend the data processing power and the latest advancements in analytical techniques to generate these insights efficiently so companies can thrive at every turn, punch above their weight and put life-changing therapies in the hands of patients faster.

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