Our client had several gene therapy assets in development for a range of retinal diseases, with a number of competing assets also in development. Only one gene therapy so far had entered the retina space.
Market research was required to understand Retina Specialists’ perceptions and understanding of Gene Therapy as well as drivers and barriers to potential use, to guide further development and commercialization.
We conducted one-hour qualitative in-depth interviews with Retinal Specialists and Patient Advocacy Groups (PAGs) based in Germany, Japan, and the US which allowed us to explore the issues of interest to our client in sufficient depth. To assess perceptions of gene therapies among a representative mix of Retina Specialists, we recruited physicians from a mix of practice settings including both academic and community and ensured they were at least somewhat familiar with gene therapies in development.
During the interviews we probed respondents to understand what they know about gene therapies in general, as well as gene therapies in for retina conditions, to gain insight into their general understanding of what these therapies are. In order to generate actionable insights, we showed respondents several blinded target product profiles in order to get reactions to specific levels of performance including efficacy, safety, administration, indication, and cost. This allowed us to explore in a realistic context the attributes that would drive or discourage physician interest and identify the minimal levels of performance that Retinal Specialists would need to see to motivate use. In addition, we used projective exercises to gain deeper insights into physicians’ overall feelings about the potential for gene therapies for retinal diseases.
Through our research, we were able to assess physician perceptions and knowledge of gene therapies and gauge their expectations for these in the retinal diseases of interest. In addition, were able to provide our client with a clear understanding of physicians’ drivers of interest and determine where they see gene therapy fitting into practice. Finally, we identified the opportunities and barriers to use of gene therapy in the ophthalmology space. By doing so, we were able to provide our client with clear recommendations on how to further develop and commercialize their asset through optimised messaging, communication strategies, HCP educational tools, and patient support programmes.
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