BoPping and MoPping

BoPping and MoPping

I recently read a report on how private sector companies and grant-supported organizations have addressed and can address the need for medicines in bottom and middle-of-the-pyramid (BoP/MoP) markets.  While aimed at the major international pharma companies, I thought it also had useful guidance and resources for bioentrepreneurs.  The report, “Bringing Medicines to Low Income Markets,” was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Sanofi, and written by Endeva, a consulting firm offering “enterprise solutions for development.”  The report starts with a helpful and succinct description of the BoP/MoP healthcare market’s opportunities and challenges.  Here’s my summary of the salient points made:  … Read more

Taking a Short Cut

Taking a Short Cut

Any bioentrepreneur considering a start-up to develop a new drug is quickly bludgeoned by the conventional wisdom that such a venture is too expensive and too high-risk to attempt.  One whack is the often-cited sound bite cost of $800 million per new approved drug that was reported by DiMasi, et al, and which is now up to $1.7 billion or more (see Munos 2010).  Another is the high failure rate of drugs in human trials (see a list of ten drugs that failed in Phase III in 2010, supposedly the least risky phase, compiled by Fierce Biotech).  With the major pharma companies scrambling to find a formula for profitability, smaller companies crashing and burning (or rarely getting bought out), and venture capitalists running for the exits, entrepreneurs should steer clear of drug discovery and development.  Or should they?  Read more

North-South Dealing

North-South Dealing

Entrepreneurial life sciences companies have set their sights on overseas markets and have formed international partnerships to gain access to distribution channels and insight on product specifications, registration, and user preferences. I estimate that this “global health” market place is between $250-300 billion in annual sales, using a 2009 pharmaceutical sales forecast that put 14% of the total of $820 billion resulting from the emerging economies of China, Brazil, India, South Korea, Mexico, Turkey, and Russia (2009 Forecast), and so about 17% ($147 billion) occurred in the rest of world including those countries with few resources in health care. Applying  … Read more

Going Nonexclusive

Going Nonexclusive

Start up companies face a tough go- converting a new technology into saleable products on minimal funding- and those aiming at products for global health (or any health care products for sale outside the major market countries) have even a harder challenge by swimming against the conventional wisdom that a highly-priced, reimbursable product is the only way to profitability. For start-ups, time is money and the shorter time to a product prototype, the more likely is revenue and survival. To fund prototype development, most patch together funding from government (or very rarely, foundation) grants and private sources while trying to  … Read more