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Mastering the Art of a Product Launch: Insights for Biopharma Commercialization Teams

Experts shed light on the crucial role of investment in achieving commercial success and how to navigate the complexities of product commercialization.

Companies now need to allocate between 150% to 250% of their year one forecasted revenue in the year preceding launch to achieve success -- marking a substantial increase from previous thresholds, according to research from Syneos Health.

Biopharmaceutical leaders often struggle to determine the optimal level and timing of investment to support successful product launches. Our analysis of financial metrics, comparing selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) spending, forecasted revenues and actual revenues, sheds light on a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between pre-launch/launch spending and launch success.

Navigating the complexities of product commercialization requires strategic foresight and informed decision-making. In a panel at the 2024 JPMorgan Biotech Showcase, Michael Sarshad, managing director of the Commercial Advisory Group at Syneos Health, sat down with four biotech C-suite executives to shed light on the crucial role of investment in achieving commercial success.

  • Commence early and strategize: Early planning is paramount to avoid last-minute funding shortages. Establishing a clear plan allows organizations to provide finance teams with ample time to secure the necessary resources for a successful commercialization effort.
  • Prioritize resource allocation: During the pre-launch phase, prioritize resource allocation to align with key commercial objectives. Strategic hiring of individuals with the right expertise and adaptability is crucial for launch success.
  • Embrace an R&D approach to commercial planning: Treat commercial planning as a systematic process similar to research and development. Progress through stages, demonstrate measurable outcomes and adapt strategies accordingly to drive effective commercialization.
  • Speak the language of executives and board members: Effective communication with decision-makers is essential. Articulate the value proposition of commercial investments in terms that resonate with their priorities to secure buy-in and support.
  • Build a high-performing team: Foster a supportive and collaborative team environment by encouraging open communication and leveraging networking opportunities to bring in an experienced team willing to roll up their sleeves. Provide ongoing support to equip the team to tackle launch challenges.
  • Differentiate and adapt: Differentiation and agility are key in competitive markets. Focus on strengths, adapt approaches, and seize innovation opportunities to carve out a unique position and drive success.
  • Increase SG&A costs proportionally as launch date approaches: Successful companies demonstrate a pattern of increasing SG&A spend as they approach launch, with the most substantial increases observed in the year before launch. Detailed insights into SG&A expenditure across various pre-launch years provide invaluable benchmarks for emerging companies embarking on their commercialization journey.

As the biopharma landscape continues to evolve, it is evident that success in commercialization hinges on more than just product quality. By understanding and adapting to shifting investment trends, launch teams can position themselves for success in an increasingly competitive market. Thoughtful resource allocation, coupled with experienced leadership, will be instrumental in navigating the complexities of biopharma commercialization and unlocking the full potential of new therapies.

Is your team preparing for launch? Explore how Syneos Health experts can help you strategize.


Michael Sarshad | Managing Director, Commercial Advisory Group

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