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Overcoming 3 key cell and gene therapy commercialization challenges

According to the WHO, there are more than 10,000 rare diseases caused by mutations of a single gene. Thankfully, for the millions of patients these diseases impact, advances in science and technology are enabling new treatment approaches. In fact, Evaluate Pharma indicates that there are nearly 1,000 companies with cell and gene therapies in varying stages of commercialization. Additionally, the overall market for rare diseases is expected to grow 10x between 2021 and 2026 in total sales.

In this 30-minute session, Robert Groebel, VP of Global Life Sciences Strategy at Definitive Healthcare will look the complex pathway to commercialization, highlight some of the key challenges and share best practice approaches to help ensure your therapies reach the patients that need them. Join live to learn:

  • The 3 key challenges affecting the commercialization of cell and gene therapies
  • 5 considerations on how to optimize your commercial process
  • How to leverage real world evidence (RWE) to improve commercial intent


About the speaker

Robert Groebel

Robert Groebel, VP, Global Medical Strategy

Robert Groebel is the Global VP of Medical Strategy at Definitive Healthcare. He is recognized for his ability to create a strategic vision and accelerate innovation via technology. Most recently, he was the Global Vice President, Medical & Account Management Strategy at Veeva Systems. He has more than 25 years of healthcare experience holding global medical and commercial roles at both Boehringer Ingelheim and Shire Pharmaceuticals. In his current role, he guides commercial & medical affairs organizations globally to leverage technology, data, and analytics to enhance engagement, scientific, communications, and account management strategies in today’s increasingly complex healthcare landscape.




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Get a sneak peek into the webinar! Read a preview of the transcript below:

Alexandria Chaitin (00:00):
Hi everyone. My name is Alexandria Chaitin. I am a marketing campaign manager here at Definitive Healthcare for the life sciences segment. Welcome to today’s webinar, cell and gene therapy: commercialization challenges. I am joined here today by Robert Groebel. He’s our VP of medical strategies here at Definitive Healthcare. He has 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry and joins us from places like Veeva Systems, Boehringer Ingelheim and Shire Pharmaceuticals. So without further ado, I’ll pass it over to Robert.

Robert Groebel (00:37):
Thanks, Ali. I appreciate the introduction. And I’d like to thank all of you for joining us at today’s webinar. It’s a very interesting topic, and I hope that you learn at least something in the next 20 or 25 minutes. But before we jump in, just to give you a little bit about Definitive Healthcare, we are historically known as a data company. We source many forms of unstructured data, whether it’s through first party research, third party data, unstructured public information, and data from government and regulatory authorities. And as we acquire this data, we begin to apply an approach to holistic healthcare intelligence where the data is it’s cleansed, it’s linked. We apply data science and additional data inputs to help our clients develop insights that they can use as they are developing new and innovative treatments in the healthcare space. And they use these linkages of different systems and centers and experts to really understand in a comprehensive way the healthcare ecosystem that they’re playing in. So, appreciate the moment for a brief introduction.

So, as we dive into today’s webinar, it’s really focused on what’s become an incredibly complex pathway to bring drugs to the market. And what I’d like to focus on are some specific key challenges that people are facing when they’re trying to bring new therapies to patients that need the most.

And so, to ground today’s discussion, I think the word innovation is really important because it does become a bit of a theme through the discussion. And when we think about cell and gene therapy today, there’s a lot of innovation that’s happened. Currently in the market, we’re covering at least six diseases that are being treated with this type of an approach. But more importantly, there are over 100 diseases that are currently being explored for future treatments with cell and gene therapy. And that reflects over 360 new approaches to this type of patient care. And then when we look at that 362, and this will ultimately become the focus of today’s conversation, nearly 50% of all new cell and gene therapy is focused on oncology, but I think we have to recognize the path to success.

For these types of therapies, there are still technical challenges, there are commercial hurdles that need to be overcome for cell and gene therapy to really reach their full potential. And as I was putting the slides together, I came across this interesting diagram that came out of the university of Utrecht in the Netherlands. And while we, as an industry, the life sciences as an industry is really touting the innovations that we’ve brought, I thought that this slide was interesting because when I read this, I really looked at it as a bookend. You can look at all of the innovation in targets scouting and sourcing, we’re looking at crowdsourcing, we’re looking at pre-competitive knowledge sharing, etc., etc., that’s a really innovative way to start to think about R&D.

That certainly is continuing to move from left to right in proof of concept research where we’re partnering with academics, we’re, again, using technology to spin out other opportunities. But then if we move all the way over to the right hand side, we also see innovation that’s happening and has happened on the commercial side of our efforts, whether it’s second generation products or the way that people are approaching product line extensions. But what became really striking to me as I looked at this is the trial section of this. And we don’t really see a lot of innovation that has happened in the trial section of drug development. And I thought this would be a really interesting place to dive in, to start to talk about how we might apply an innovative mindset as we’re thinking about these complex interventions that we’re bringing to the market… .