To celebrate the first-ever episode of DTx Spotlight, Ellis Ward sits down with Anish Shindore. Anish has spent over 13 years in Health, Digital Commercialization and Digital Therapeutics within Big Pharma. He has executed over 30 bio-pharma partnerships, co-developments, collaborations and investments with health companies and now is an angel investor, mentor and Board Member of multiple startups. He is deeply involved within European digital health regulation and reimbursement which motivated his to start GSD Health in January 2022.
In this interview, Anish and Ellis discussed the role of DTx partnerships, the different partnership models, identifying the correct partner, and what makes a successful partnership – with a specific focus on pharma. As the nut is still yet to be cracked when it comes to commercializing a DTx solution, Anish unpacks whether partnerships is the most successful route to scale…
How should a DTx business distinguish whether a partnerships model is the correct one for the business?
“Determining whether a partnership model is the right approach for a Digital Therapeutics (DTx) business involves careful analysis of various factors to ensure alignment with the company's goals, capabilities, and market dynamics. There are various factors that need to be assessed to evaluate whether a partnership model is suitable for your DTx business.
You should explore different partnership models, such as strategic alliances, joint ventures, co-promotion agreements, distribution partnerships, and technology collaborations. Each model comes with its own benefits and challenges. And with each partnerships you need to consider factors like market share, revenue targets, geographic expansion, and product innovation.
Firstly you must research the DTx market to understand its size, growth potential, competitive landscape, and regulatory environment. Identify key players, potential partners, and any existing partnerships within the industry. Establish clear metrics to measure the success of the partnership - these might include increased market share, revenue growth, user engagement, or clinical outcomes – and remember that each DTx business is unique, so there's no one-size-fits-all answer.”
What options do DTx companies have when it comes to partnering?
“Digital Therapeutics (DTx) companies have a range of partnership options to consider, depending on their specific goals, resources, and market dynamics. The choice of partnership model will depend on the specific objectives of the DTx company, the resources available, the competitive landscape, and the target market. As a DTx company you can consider:
Collaborating with pharmaceutical companies to enhance the overall patient experience by combining pharmaceutical treatments with digital therapeutic interventions.
Partnering with healthcare providers, hospitals, clinics, and healthcare networks to integrate DTx solutions into their patient care pathways.
Partnering with research institutions, universities, and academic experts to conduct clinical trials, validate the efficacy of DTx products, and generate evidence for regulatory approvals.
Establish joint ventures with other companies to jointly develop and commercialize DTx products, leveraging each partner's strengths and resources.
Expanding and commercializing with partner organizations that have expertise in international markets to facilitate expansion into new geographic regions.”
What is the value proposition for pharma companies to partner with DTx businesses?
“Pharmaceutical companies have several compelling reasons to partner with Digital Therapeutics (DTx) businesses. These partnerships can provide value in terms of enhancing patient outcomes, expanding market reach, improving patient engagement, and advancing the pharmaceutical industry's overall approach to healthcare.
By integrating or combining DTx solutions with pharmaceutical treatments, pharma companies can address not only the medical aspect of treatment but also behavioral and lifestyle factors that impact patient outcomes. DTx solutions also generate valuable data insights on patient behavior, preferences, and responses to interventions.
Partnering with DTx companies can open doors to new markets and patient populations, especially in the digital health space. This can lead to increased market share and revenue opportunities.”
How should DTx businesses identify a potential pharma partner?
“Identifying the right pharmaceutical partner for a Digital Therapeutics (DTx) business requires a strategic approach that involves careful research, evaluation, and alignment of goals.
Ensure that your DTx business's mission, values, and goals align with those of potential pharma partners. This alignment is crucial for a successful and harmonious collaboration.
Identify pharmaceutical companies that work in therapeutic areas relevant to your DTx solution. Look for areas where your digital intervention can complement or enhance their existing products.
Attend industry events, conferences, and digital health forums to network with representatives from pharmaceutical companies. These events provide opportunities to establish connections and learn about potential partners.
Reach out to industry experts, advisors, mentors, and colleagues for recommendations on potential pharma partners. Their insights can provide valuable guidance.
Research the pharmaceutical company's history of partnerships, especially with digital health or technology-focused firms. Companies open to adopting new technologies are more likely to be receptive to DTx partnerships.”
What is the best way for a DTx business to approach a potential pharma partner?
“Before reaching out, conduct thorough research on the pharmaceutical company's background, therapeutic focus, recent initiatives, and any existing partnerships. This knowledge will help you tailor your approach.
Personalize your outreach to show that you've done your due diligence. Highlight specific aspects of the pharma company's work that resonate with your proposal. Clearly communicate the unique value that your DTx solution brings to the table. Focus on how it complements the pharma company's products or therapeutic areas. Be receptive to feedback or questions from the potential partner. Be prepared to address any concerns or inquiries they might have about your DTx solution or the proposed partnership. Approach the meeting with a collaborative mindset. Be open to discussing their needs and exploring how your DTx solution can fit into their larger strategy. If available, share data or case studies that demonstrate the positive impact of your DTx solution. This can help validate your claims and build credibility.”
What makes a successful partnership?
“Ultimately, a successful DTx partnership is built on a foundation of trust, collaboration, and a commitment to achieving shared goals that lead to improved patient outcomes and advancements in healthcare. This can be accomplished only if the partnership is built on mutual understanding, clear communication, aligned objectives, and the ability to leverage each partner's strengths to achieve common goals.”
Get in Touch.
If you want the opportunity to establish a competitive advantage in the dynamic digital therapeutics reach out to Ellis Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org.