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Insights

At Snowfish, our cross-functional team of industry professionals provides thought leadership on topics of importance to pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies through articles, white papers and proprietary study reports. We offer solutions as a result of our insights.

We invite you to take advantage of these life science insights through the vehicles provided.

Blog

Stay tuned to the Snowfish blog for frequent insights and information that will empower you to greater success. To read the latest blog post, go to the Blog Page.

White Papers


Our White Papers provide valuable guidance to help you meet and exceed your goals. To request a PDF of any of the below papers, go to the White Papers Page.

  • Healthcare Big Data: CMS Open Payments
  • Identifying Strategic Partners for Product Development
  • No More Product Losers! Strategic Lessons Learned
  • The Power of Clinical Data Gap Analysis
  • In-Depth Analysis of U.S. Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Practice
  • Mid-Level Practitioners: Common Myths and Realities
  • Discovering the Value of KOL Identification & Mapping
  • MSL Training: Top 10 Considerations
  • Top 10 Product Planning Considerations
  • The Future of Personalized Medicine: Insights from Breast Cancer Technologies to Predict Risk and Prognosis
  • Penetrating the Universal Emerging Market: Answers to 10 Key Questions on Developing and Marketing Therapies for the Aging Population
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Case Studies

During the past decade we have been serving as a trusted resource and advisor to pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies. Through our series of life sciences case studies, we outline some of the actionable results that we have produced for our clients. To read a case study concentrating on the below areas, click on the topic of interest. Case Studies Page.

KOL Identification and Profiling

Objective: Snowfish was asked by a major pharmaceutical company to identify and map KOLs in a particular field of heart disease. They were not satisfied with the traditional approach that relied on traditional literature search and physician surveys. KOL identification and profiling was needed. Methodology: We started with a list (including demographics) of 27,000 cardiologists and 1,400 electrophysiologists and augmented the database with data from a wide range of sources relevant to the disease state:
  • Investigators of clinical trials
  • Authors of journal articles
  • Editorial board members of journals
  • Association officers
  • Administrative positions at hospitals and universities
  • Guideline authors
  • Speakers at conventions and symposia
  • Program planners
  • Physicians at top-rated hospitals
  • Hospitals conducting high numbers of related procedures
Snowfish leveraged our proprietary software to filter, sort, and integrate millions of data elements. Results: We derived a manually verified list of the top 500 KOLs in the field. Our link mapping software derived 33,000 relevant links between the KOLs and between the KOLs and other physicians. Using our sophisticated weighting system, we then derived lists of those most suitable for a number of programs for the client’s new drug:
  • National speakers
  • Regional speakers
  • Advisory board members
We also listed the “rising stars” among the KOLs and those KOLs that were considered regional as opposed to national. All results were presented in easy-to-use Excel spreadsheets, with “pull-down” filters to quickly sort or select KOLs based on particular factors (including client sales region). A report of the findings was also presented in PowerPoint format, highlighting all major results. At the final presentation, our team was personally commended by the client’s VP of marketing, and client staff later remarked on both the comprehensiveness of the results and the ease and power of using the deliverables.

Strategic Product Development

Objective: An innovative medical device company developed a revolutionary material that literally has hundreds of potential medical applications. Snowfish was asked to provide a strategic product development evaluation for some of the most promising product concepts. The company was relying on the analysis to make multi-million dollar product development decisions. They also needed to compare one product opportunity against another. Methodology: Snowfish developed an overall product evaluation matrix. Each product analysis involved several months of work with very detailed analysis. We leveraged multiple primary and secondary data sources including:
  • Physician interviews
  • Procedure and diagnostic data
  • Stock analyst reports
  • Clinical trial results
  • Association data
  • PubMed
  • Corporate websites
  • Press releases
  • NIH data
  • Tradeshows
  • Annual reports
  • SEC filings
  • AMA data
  • Etc.
Results: Snowfish was able to develop a very clear and compelling analytic framework for the company to compare multiple product opportunities in vastly different therapeutic areas. We were able to evaluate each product concept along the following business and clinical concepts:
  • Physician interest
  • Product differentiation
  • Patient interest
  • Product revenue
  • Market profitability
  • Entry barriers
  • Market growth
  • Distribution/physician population
  • Competitive intensity
  • Rate of adoption
  • Untreated patient population
Snowfish also assigned a relative weighting to each variable that was client driven. Based on the relative weightings, the client was able to get a very clear picture of the market opportunity. This has enabled the company to focus their development efforts and avoid wasting millions of dollars on product concepts that were very unlikely to ever pay off. Snowfish continues to work with the client on multiple projects.
External Factor Product A Product B Product C Product D Product E
Physician Interest 10 8 2 N/A 9
Product Differentiation 10 10 1 3 8
Patient Interest 9 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Product Revenue 8 2 1 2 9
Market Profitability 5 6 1 2 9
Entry Barriers 5 5 2 1 2
Market Growth 5 1 1 1 4
Distribution/Physician Population 7 9 9 7 5
Competitive Intensity 8 3 3 2 4
Rate of Adoption 9 7 2 1 3
Untreated Patient 8 1 1 2 7
Average 7.6 5.2 2.3 2.3 6.0
 

Product Development Research

Objective: A Snowfish client asked for a quick analysis of the market for a potential innovative medical simulation product. One of the chief constraints on the product’s viability was the number of residents & fellows learning the surgical approach that the product would be simulating. The management team had been told by their board members and KOLs that the product had enormous potential. Snowfish was asked to confirm the assumptions and make a recommendation as to whether the market opportunity merited investment. Methodology: In order to quickly assess the market, Snowfish thought there were two critical elements. The first element was to gain a physician perspective at leading teaching institutions not affiliated with the company to understand the number of physicians that were experienced with the surgical approach. The second element was to see if the procedure volume mirrored the board’s assumptions. Snowfish identified and recruited half a dozen physicians from leading teaching institutions across the United States. We also analyzed procedure volumes based on CPT codes. Results: It quickly became apparent that there was a strong match between what we were hearing from non company affiliated physicians and the CPT codes. In fact, both data elements were in complete agreement. They both indicated that there was not a market for the medical simulation product. Based on these two strong data points, Snowfish recommended that the company should not pursue the product development. Below are some of the product development research results from physician surveys at leading institutions:
Institution A B C D E
Total Interventional Cardiologists 16 5 7 16 13
Interventional Cardiologist Trained on Procedure 1 1 2 4 2
Performing Procedure 1 1 0 4 2
Aren't Trained 15 4 5 12 1
Trained (%) 6% 20% 29% 25% 15%
Performing (%) 6% 20% 0% 25% 15%
Untrained (%) 94% 80% 71% 75% 85%

Competitive Analysis

The images below were part of an in-depth client presentation on the current competitive landscape, and the likely impact of ongoing trials that might affect the product’s future. The competitive analysis was based on ongoing trials, expected data and anticipated positioning. Our analysis enabled our client to take steps as early as possible, to achieve more effective positioning of their product.
 
Product A Study A initiates Data from Study B presented at Association meeting Study C to release interim results
Product B New indication approval Study R expected completed
Product C Results from Study S Study Y should be completed Interim results of Study J
Product D Study Z results to be presented at Association meeting Results from Study F Interim results of Study P Study O initiates
Product E Study V initiates Data from Study N presented at Association meeting Interim results of Study L Study M expected completed
Product A New indication for PCI (end of XXX?). Promote efficacy of XXX regimen in both UA/NSTEMI and STEMI patients undergoing PCI. Leverage data from XXX along with other data in STEMI including XXX and studies by XXX et al.
Product B May be pushing to continue to capture patients eligible for early administration of eptifibatide. May position as optimal GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor to be used with early invasive strategy.
Product C Continue efforts to expand use upstream in AMI patients planned for angioplasty.
Product D Depending upon what XXX shows, focus may be on either replacing heparin or GP IIb/IIIa inhibitors in upstream management of UA/NSTEMI patients. Focus of strategy and indication will depend upon the results.
Product E May leverage XXX to support role of high-dose clopidogrel in a new standard of care, however may still promote benefit of the high-dose without the need for the addition of a GP IIb/IIIa inhibitor.

Strategic Partnering Case Study

Objective: A top 10 pharmaceutical company currently marketing billions of dollars worth of products in a specific disease state area made the strategic decision to significantly increase collaboration with academic and research institutions. The purpose was to partner with institutions on early-stage research, turn it into clinical stage and eventually commercial products. Snowfish was tasked with identifying academic and research centers of excellence for the purpose of fostering long-term strategic relationships. A tremendous amount of data was analyzed. The client needed to go beyond the “usual suspects” and ensure that the goals and objectives of the centers of excellence are aligned with the company. Methodology: Snowfish started out with a list of approximately 7500 organizations which was to be narrowed down through various factor weightings and re-ranking based upon a profile developed by both Snowfish and our client depicting the ideal partner organization. This analysis involved several months of work with very detailed analysis involving clinical, business, and technical expertise. The multiple disease-state-specific factors that we analyzed included:
  • Articles published by investigators at organization
  • Guidelines published by investigators at organization
  • Clinical trials conducted at the organization (and how many were sponsors vs. locations)
  • NIH grants awarded to organization
  • If the organization had relevant fellowship program
  • Current relationships between the company and investigators within the organization
  • Community involvement
  • Various measures of alignment
Once we were able to identify our "short-list", we conducted one-on-one in-depth interviews with key individuals within the organizations to detail their profile and offer our client everything they needed to know so that they could have a very fruitful initial meeting. Results: Snowfish was able to narrow a tremendous number of organizations to the top 30 or the top 99.6% percentile. Very specific details about their organization including staff, research, goals, interests and aspirations were provided in a user-friendly format. Our client now has everything they need for senior management to make informed decisions on which organizations with whom to take the first step and how best to maximize the efficiencies of their initial meeting.

Articles

Snowfish has solid healthcare experience in a variety of areas and stays current by creating and contributing to industry publications. To see a list of published life sciences articles, go to the Articles Page.

SHOWCASE FEATURE: Medical Affairs: Beyond the Science (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Hammond, Melissa, April 2013.

Genomic Innovation (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Fishman, David, March 2013.

The C-Suite: Corporate Strategies (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Hammond, Melissa, Nov/Dec 2012.

Sales: New Strategies (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Fishman, David, Nov/Dec 2012.

Crystal Ball: What’s Ahead (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Hammond, Melissa, Nov/Dec 2012.

Competitive Intelligence and Strategy in Today’s Environment (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Hammond, Melissa, April 2012.

Payers Play Larger Role In PostLaunch Strategies (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Hammond, Melissa, March 2012.

Molecule to Market – Along the Continuum (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Fishman, David, March 2012.

Market Capitalization (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Hammond, Melissa, March 2012.

The C-Suite: Corporate Strategies (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Fishman, David. Nov/Dec 2011.

Building a Culture of Innovation: Fostering Innovation (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Fishman, David. Nov/Dec 2011.

A Changing Rhythm (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Fishman, David. June 2011.

Clinical Data Gap Analysis: Uncovering Hidden Opportunities. PharmaVOICE, Fishman, David. June 2011.

KOL Mapping: The GPS of Thought Leader Identification (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Fishman, David. April 2011.

R&D Innovation: The Key to Long-Term Success (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Fishman, David. March 2011.

Healthcare Reform and Comparative Effectiveness (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Fishman, David. Nov/Dec 2010.

What Was Old is New Again (3 trends). PharmaVOICE, Fishman, David. Nov/Dec 2010.

Buzzword for Tomorrow’s Sales Reps: Consultancy (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Hammond, Melissa. Nov/Dec 2010.

Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants: Taking a Closer Look (quoted). HBA Advantage, Hammond, Melissa. Fall 2010.

Tomorrow’s MSL: Specialist or Generalist (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Fishman, David. October 2010.

Midlevel Healthcare Providers: An Untapped Prescribing Force (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Hammond, Melissa. September 2010.

Adaptive by Design (quoted). PharmaVOICE, Hammond, Melissa. June 2010.

Safety evaluation of tirofiban. Expert Opin Drug Saf. Valgimigli M, Tebaldi M. 2010;9(5):801-19.

Defining the role of platelet glycoprotein receptor inhibitors in STEMI: focus on tirofiban. Drugs.  van’t Hof AW, Valgimigli M. 2009; 69(1): 85-100.

Low-molecular-weight heparins in acute myocardial infarction: rationale and results of a pilot study. Clin Cardiol. Ross AM, Coyne K, Hammond M, Lundergan CF. July 2000; 23(7): 483-5.

Changes in bedrail prevalence during a bedrails-reduction initiative. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. Levine JM, Hammond M, Breuer B. 2000; 1:34-36.

Bedrails: choosing the best alternative. Geriatric Nursing. Review.1 Hammond M, Levine JM. Nov-Dec 1999; 20. (6): 297-300; quiz 300-1. Review.1

Falls and related injuries in the nursing home: the importance of time and place. (Abstract presented at Alzheimer’s Association Annual Meeting, Chicago IL). Levine JM, Hammond M, Breuer B. July 1997.

Bedrail use. (Letter to the editor). Journal of the American Geriatric Society. 45(6): 780-1 Levine JM, Hammond MH. June 1997.

Epidemiology of falls and related injuries in a large nursing facility. (Abstract presented at American Geriatrics Society Annual Meeting, Los Angeles CA). Levine JM, Hammond M, Pruchnicki A, Shelky M, Totolos E, Breuer B. May 1997.

Characteristics of residents with bedrails in a large academic nursing facility. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Levine JM, Hammond M, Marchello V, Breuer B.  1996; 44: S72 (abstract).

Epidemiology of bedrails in a large long-term care facility. The Gerontologist. Hammond MH, Levine JM, Marchello V, Breuer B. 1995; 35: SI369 (abstract).

Bedrails: Under-represented in the medical literature. The Gerontologist. Marchello V, Levine JM, Hammond M, Breuer B. 1995; 35: SI211 (abstract).

Bedrails: Physical restraint or enabler? The Gerontologist. Levine JM, Hammond M, Marchello V, Breuer B. 1995; 35: SI136 (abstract).

1Currently used as a reference in FDA materials on bed safety.

Podcasts

Access content from Snowfish thought leaders in an audio format. To listen to a podcast on the topic listed below, go to the Podcasts Page.

  • Geriatrics

What do Mick Jagger, Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Cancer Have in Common?

Thought Leader: Melissa Hammond MSN, GNP, Managing Director, Snowfish LLC

In this episode: In this episode Melissa Hammond MSN, GNP, Managing Director at Snowfish speaks with Dan Limbach, Manager, Webcast Network at PharmaVOICE. They talk about our aging society and how the industry needs to address its therapies to reflect the differences in age groups, including the old and the very old. Download Podcast as Transcript

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