Oncology-focused pharmaceutical company strengthens product launch by identifying hundreds of high-value physicians with Acorn AI

About Customer:

This pharmaceutical company focuses on developing new drugs to treat cancer.

The Challenge:

With a passion for care that puts patients first, this emerging biopharmaceutical company focuses on delivering groundbreaking treatments for people living with cancer. It recently developed a new enzyme-blocking oncology therapy with the potential to help more cancer patients.

The first six months after launching a new drug often determine its trajectory and potential sales. It is critical that the company prioritize sales resources to focus on the physicians who treat a large concentration of the target patient population. The company had created a segmentation of health care professionals (HCPs) for its sales representatives to target, prioritized by information such as a practitioner’s specialty and underlying indication patient count. But the company knew its data set was incomplete, especially with the lack of line-of-therapy insight, and worried that it might miss important physicians.

Since this new therapy targets a type of cancer associated with a specific biomarker, the company had an idea that it could improve targeting by combining its physician list with patient data. The company hoped to identify HCPs treating patients with this particular biomarker. The company’s in-house analytics team didn’t have the resources to oversee the project. Just as critically, the team needed expert advice to understand how to combine different sets of real world data to discover top HCP targets.

The Solution:

The company was already working on a data management platform and using a data visualization solution for commercial insights. A year after launch, the company saw an opportunity to improve its HCP targeting with even more indepth analytics, particularly for high value HCPs. The pharmaceutical company realized it needed more powerful analytics capabilities and brought in Acorn AI, a Medidata company, to assess the situation and provide a solution.

Acorn AI worked with more than 10 real world data sources, including biomarker and testing data, to deliver deep insights on the underlying patient population as well as treatment patterns. Acorn AI analysts not only understand how to work with the data, but also how to assess the strength of the data, identify potential data gaps, and interpret inconsistencies.

“Acorn AI was a true thought partner that helped us understand how to evaluate data and refine our targeting strategy,” says the senior director of commercial operations. “With their help, we identified the high-value physicians whose patients would benefit the most from our therapy.”

The Results:

Acorn AI quickly got to work combining biomarker testing data and patient volume data. Being able to process large volumes of real world data quickly allowed Acorn AI to complete the first wave of analysis in just two weeks. Once the business rules were in place, Acorn AI continued to push weekly alerts to the field using the latest data.

Out of the original 1,000 HCPs initially identified as Tier 1, or high-priority targets, Acorn AI prioritized 250 as “super tier” targets—top targets for sales representatives even amongst Tier 1 HCPs. An additional 700 HCPs who were not included in the original tiered priority lists were added due to their large number of patients with the specific biomarker. Conversely, about 200 HCPs originally identified as Tier 1 targets were removed from the tiered lists entirely.

Adding in biomarker and patient data gives sales representatives a much more complete view of each physician and their typical patients. The updated HCP segmentation and targeting insights were reflected into the sales rep dashboards just one week after analysis was complete. This end-to-end solution lets sales representatives quickly shift priorities to target HCPs that will help the therapy reach a larger number of patients quickly.

“Working with Acorn AI allowed us to act on data far faster and more reliably than we could by ourselves,” says the senior director of commercial operations. “We can accelerate the time from launch to peak impact by engaging faster with more physicians and patients. We’ve had such success working with Acorn AI that we’ve already asked for their support on two additional projects for our brands.”

Additional target physicians identified