Case study: How we helped determine the next groundbreaking development in a hard-to-treat respiratory disease

The challenge
Our client wanted to understand the current management in a complex therapy area, as treatment regimens require a combination of multiple drugs. Furthermore, the disease is most prevalent in emerging, hard-to-access markets. Understanding of drugs and treatment regimen preferences were required to help gauge likely success of the client’s new formulation in development, which would be part of a new regimen paradigm.

Respiratory case study- Feb 2020
Respiratory case study- Feb 2020

The challenge
Our client wanted to understand the current management in a complex therapy area, as treatment regimens require a combination of multiple drugs. Furthermore, the disease is most prevalent in emerging, hard-to-access markets. Understanding of drugs and treatment regimen preferences were required to help gauge likely success of the client’s new formulation in development, which would be part of a new regimen paradigm.

As well as understanding current preferences and reactions to the new drug and regimen, the research needed to test several potential outcomes for the new formulation and assess performance against future new regimens likely to be available at the time of launch.

The solution
After careful recruitment and screening, we conducted 50 qualitative IDIs with Doctors and KOLs involved in the management and treatment of the hard-to-treat respiratory disease in India, South Africa, Ukraine, Philippines and China. We asked respondents several ranking questions to assess the relative importance of drug-related attributes, as well as factors that are taken into account when constructing a regimen. This allowed us to identify the most preferred management strategy.

We also measured satisfaction with current treatment options, assessed unmet needs and explored understanding of the future market landscape to help understand the extent to which the new development will meet a market gap.

Finally, we assessed doctors’ reactions to the new drug in isolation, to gain deeper insights into the perceptions of the drug and the different potential trial outcomes. We then introduced a visual representation of the treatment regimen (containing the drug in development) to gain reactions to the new regimen and how it would fit into their practice.  

The outcomes
The findings from the qualitative research helped our client gain access to three key areas of understanding. Firstly we identified the main drivers of prescribing a particular regimen according to key HCPs, which allowed our client to begin to understand how their development needed to be positioned in order to gain popularity. 

We also identified areas of unmet needs that the new product fulfilled and challenges foreseen in the future landscape. Finally, through testing various iterations of the formulation, we determined the ideal combination of features and likely uptake, which helped inform the final decision of how and if to move forward with development of the product.

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