Edge Therapeutics, a young biotech, finds a better way to get ready for launch
In 2015, 29 new drugs were launched in the U.S. and all of them experienced some delay, ranging from 5 to 87 days with the average at 45 days delay. The price of such massive delays in today’s competitive marketplace can be, on average, $1 million per day, which is unacceptable. now, with more pressure to bring down drug prices, life sciences companies need to plug the holes of leaky processes. Many are turning to modern cloud-based technologies but few are considering the role that improved project management can play in making a real difference in time to market.
At a small company, things are constantly in motion, and you don’t have a lot of staff or layers of expertise to manage them all comfortably. In launch planning, you have to work out different scenarios for various timelines and departments—clinical, regulatory, marketing and more.
When I started at Edge, our corporate objectives were not closely aligned with either our processes or technology, so there was no way to visualize the integration across functions, the interdependencies between teams and individuals. This also made it more challenging to focus organizational resources around common key goals. Nevertheless, we were getting much closer to starting our Phase 3 and ultimately launching our first product. Being well aware of this common challenge in growth oriented biopharmaceutical companies, I was determined to avoid misalignment from affecting us and wanted to establish processes and organized workflows that would enable company wide collaboration and execution against our shared objectives.
I had personally worked with a number of standard project management systems and supporting tools and so considered all options—including Microsoft Project as well as other enterprise project and resource management systems.
I was prepared to invest in Microsoft Project Online but was concerned it was solving our issues with a sledge hammer. We needed a solution that was agile and flexible and had the reporting and capabilities we would use in the real world. Edge couldn’t afford to invest in functionality that we didn’t need, and then be required to additionally invest in add-ons like reporting tools to just get the basics done. Plus, we couldn’t afford to invest our people in maintaining the upkeep of a system like MS Project Online. I knew, once we started, the consulting and maintenance fees would only go up.