Selling to Pharma R&D: Insider Cheat Sheet

Analyze priorities, subsectors, & barriers to adoption in Pharma R&D divisions.

This guide covers practical issues such as

Value proposition

Tie into the existing drug pipeline, improving engagement and adherence, and enable segmentation

Deal making

Identify your champions and remove potential barriers to closing the deal

IP strategy

Protect your assets starting in the contracting phase

Data collection & security

Understanding the data needed to start doing your AI magic + security requirements

Evidence reqs

Gain insights into degree of proof you need to sell a precision medicine platform. 

Curated resources

Pick the right conferences and identify the trends in the market and your target clients.

Read the guide we've been providing to our own portfolio companies.

A must-read

Ittai Dayan, MD

CEO/Co-founder of Rhino Health

This eBook does an excellent job in providing a ‘map’ for navigating the biopharma sales process. 
As the expression goes ‘If you sell to one pharma, you know how to sell to one pharma’ – but the authors have done a great job in generalizing their learnings.

Raviv Pryluk, PhD

CEO/Co-founder of PhaseV

I would recommend this as mandatory reading for anyone considering working in this exciting yet complex space to ensure you are able to rise above the noise to make your offering truly stand out.

Mati Gill

CEO of AION Labs
All pharma R&D leaders will find value in startups reading and abiding by this new, simple yet very valuable playbook – this will help startups fine-tune their technological offering for them and come more prepared to address their future needs.

Selling to Pharma R&D: the opportunity

The top 20 pharma companies dedicated $139 billion to R&D spending in 2022, yet this resulted in an ROI of 1.2%. 

There is a pressing need to invest in tools and technologies capable of enhancing operational efficacy.

Rise above the noise

Selling to Pharma R&D organizations can be complex as each pharma is different, and its sales cycles are composed of multiple champions.

However, there are questions which appear more frequently and an extensive knowledge of IP, regulation, pricing and more.

Avoid common mistakes

To guide you through this process, we’ve collaborated with an expert from the Pharma R&D space and documented the right insider questions to be aware of before entering this market.

Why we built this resource

Pharmaceutical companies constitute a highly appealing segment within the healthcare industry. However, they necessitate extensive and detailed sales journeys, the intricacies and requirements of which founders often remain unaware.

These are over 80 questions to help founders better prepare for Pharma R&D sales processes, covering:

  • Determining relative priority of your solution
  • Planning for potential barriers to adoption
  • Understanding sales champions and diving into contract specifics

Learn from Pharma R&D experts

About the Authors

Gal Noyman Veksler, PhD

Gal is a partner at LionBird and focuses on investments in pharma tech and precision medicine, women’s health and behavioral health. Gal works closely with Nest Genomics, Mana Bio, Phase V, Maverick Medical and others.

Gal previously co-founded and led Neurolabs AI, a startup in opioid addiction, and also served as the VP Business Development and Director of Healthcare of a global AI expert firm.

Gal is a member of Kauffman Fellows (class 28) and holds a PhD in clinical and Neuro psychology specializing in chronic pain. She has co-authored ten peer reviewed publications in leading academic journals such as Vaccine and Psychiatry.

Barbara Sosnowski, PhD

Barbara is a former Vice President at Pfizer responsible for identifying innovative research opportunities spanning multiple therapeutic areas that are both strategically aligned as well as complimentary to scientific efforts within World-Wide Research and Development. She built and lead a global team of 18 senior and executive scientists to identify First in Class or Only in class assets in innovative technology platforms. Barbara lead multiple cross functional teams within Pfizer to conduct due diligence and present findings at both the WRD Leadership and Executive Leadership levels. She is known for thinking creatively to solve challenges and for digging in-deep to get to the root of issues. She is a Pfizer Achievement Award recipient for recognition of visionary insights and innovation and held board membership positions at Mass Bio, UCLA Technology Development Group, Molecular Stethoscopes and Ab Initio. Barbara currently sits as a board member for Kestrel Therapeutics.

LionBird is a venture capital firm investing exclusively in pre-scale digital health companies.

Since its inception, the firm has invested in more than 35+ founding teams and now has over $150 million in AUM. Our focus is on helping founders lay the best foundations for their companies to scale and succeed.

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