Meet the Authors

Zo Ratansi

General Manager, SixSense Strategy Group, Medical Affairs Practice Lead

Unveiling Insights: How KOLs Shaped a Groundbreaking Therapy’s Journey

In the dynamic world of biopharmaceuticals, understanding how healthcare professionals (HCPs) perceive cutting-edge therapies can be a game-changer. A recent pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial marked a significant milestone for our client, a biopharmaceutical company, in their quest to introduce a novel treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). To ensure a smooth launch, our client recognized the need to get important feedback from HCPs. They needed to grasp how these professionals were interpreting the therapy’s mechanism of action (MOA) narrative and the clinical trial data. This understanding was not just about terminology; it had the potential to transform clinical practice. Additionally, identifying data gaps and generating ideas to bolster the comprehension of the MOA narrative and clinical data became a top priority.

The decided to engage Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) in the form of an in-person Advisory Board meeting. This engagement sheds light on the incredible value that emerged from their insights.

A Gathering of Minds: KOL Advisory Board Meeting

To gather these critical insights, our client turned to sixsense, a strategic partner, to aid in the planning, execution, and logistics management of a 1-day in-person Advisory Board. This gathering brought together psychiatrist KOL Advisors, experts in the field of MDD. The meeting was facilitated by a professional from sixsense, ensuring that all Advisor perspectives were heard and that the meeting’s objectives were met.

The meeting’s agenda was designed featuring several key components:

  1. Unpacking the MOA: The session commenced with a presentation of the hypothesized MOA narrative, followed by a detailed Q&A session to address Advisor questions and identify any challenges in comprehending the narrative.

  2. Data Gaps and Solutions: Advisors teamed up in breakout groups to pinpoint existing data gaps that needed addressing. A large-group discussion, powered by Mentimeter, helped align on the prioritized data gaps, and Advisors brainstormed data generation ideas with well-grounded rationales.

  3. Educating and Communicating the MOA: Breakout groups delved into the education and communication needs of various HCP groups. They discussed the essential elements to convey to each HCP group and the challenges in effectively communicating the narrative.

  4. Clinical Data Deep Dive: Advisors were presented with the Phase 3 clinical data, followed by an engaging session to gather feedback and insights on the dataset and its potential impact on the therapy’s clinical application.

  5. Bridging Data Gaps: Advisors collaborated in breakout groups to identify efficacy, safety, and tolerability data gaps based on the presented data. These data gaps were prioritized using Mentimeter in a large group setting. Breakout groups reconvened to brainstorm data generation ideas and discuss their feasibility as a larger group.

  6. Delivering Knowledge: In breakout groups, Advisors discussed the education and communication requirements of different HCP groups concerning the therapy’s efficacy, safety, and tolerability. They explored effective channels for disseminating this crucial information, and later shared their insights in a comprehensive large-group debriefing session.

The Value Unveiled

This representative engagement wasn’t just about collecting opinions; it was about unleashing value:

  1. Refined Scientific Narrative: The insights provided a thoughtful and strategic basis for refining the scientific narrative. This, in turn, informed the evidence generation strategy and data generation activities, ensuring that the therapy’s story was conveyed with precision and efficacy.

  2. Strategic Partnership: The collaborative partnership with sixsense proved strategic and adaptable. It was closely aligned with the client’s needs throughout the planning and execution of the Advisory Board. This partnership involved challenging assumptions, sparking strategic discussions, and maximizing the value provided by the Advisory Board.

  3. A ‘White Glove Experience’: Regulatory and compliance needs were met seamlessly, offering a ‘white glove experience’ to our client and their stakeholders. Project and event management ensured that all parties were well taken care of, allowing them to focus on the core objectives.

In conclusion, there is power in engaging with KOLs in an in-person Advisory Board setting. The insights gleaned not only refined the scientific narrative but also paved the way for a more effective strategy in the launch of a groundbreaking therapy for MDD. It exemplifies the importance of partnering with experts and facilitating valuable discussions to drive success in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Meet the Authors

Zo Ratansi

General Manager, SixSense Strategy Group, Medical Affairs Practice Lead

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Herspiegel is a leading professional services firm helping biotech start-ups and the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies navigate the path from science to brand performance and change patients’ lives. We are committed to using strategic insights from medical to commercial to market access to solve critical problems.