6 Tips For Successful Pharma Startups

Some tips to start successful pharma startups.

Some tips to start successful pharma startups. 

Scientific and technological advances are always on the rise, so naturally, launching pharma startups can seem like a great option. 

Even so, success takes work, and startups always come with different risks and challenges. Navigating all the finer details is bound to be a challenge, and knowing the ins and outs of the process can only make your journey smoother. To help you, we’ve provided the top six tips you should know to be successful as a pharma startup. 

Here's How to Setup Your Pharma Startups

1. Get to Know the Industry

No matter which side of the business you want to be in, you should have the proper knowledge and familiarity with the industry itself. It would be great if you have prior experience working at a pharma company, and if not, it’s best to ask experts in the field about it. 

You’ve got to understand the basic business dynamic and tips on how to collaborate and work with pharmaceutical companies and how they operate. Hiring a business consultant so that you can figure out these more delicate details can be helpful as well. 

Before you launch a pharma startup, you should understand whether you want to get involved with research, manufacturing, trading, distribution or marketing. An easy way to figure out what industry section you should look target is to see where you stand with your current professional background. For example, if you happen to have prior research and drug development experience, you can consider your pharma startups related to your field of study. 

2. Look Into Registration and Licensing

You’ll need to get registration and all the necessary licenses you need out of the way to start operations. 

Depending on the country you’re in and what sector you’re looking at, the documentation will differ. Many pharma companies also form as limited liability corporations, as this helps with tax sheltering and mitigating legal liability. 

For example, if your startup deals with pharma manufacturing, you would probably need company registration, a medicine manufacturing license, a wholesale drug license and a GST number. You don’t need a specific degree to own a pharma startup. You can hire an expert to help you get the necessary wholesale drug and manufacturing licenses.

It’s best to decide as early as possible whether or not you will handle things like research trials, manufacturing, drug development or distribution, or if you’d instead opt to contract them out. You’ll be able to avoid the risk of heavy fines or ending up underprepared in the future. 

3. Establish Your Brand

Remember that first and foremost, the audience you have to win over to have successful pharma startups in the medical community. They are the ones who will ultimately be prescribing and recommending your products to patients.

Any major pharma company will go out of their way to spend a substantial amount of money getting doctors on their side and sending promotional materials. Depending on the business idea and product, some even start lobbying politicians to pass laws that boost their development. 

Establishing a brand as early as possible will be very helpful, especially if you want to save money for your startup. A clear message with a proper logo and website is essential to appeal to medical professionals.

4. Create a Business Plan

To create an organized plan of action, you will have to make a business plan. For pharma startups, there are several different business models you can look into:

Product-Based Model 

Companies like Pfizer and Roche are two of the most influential companies in the market that use a product-based model. This model focuses on developing medicinal products and covers the value-creation cycle. 

Everything from product development to commercialization falls under this model. This business model delivers the highest returns, but also includes increased risk. 

Platform Model 

Companies that follow the platform business model tend to focus on the early stages of drug discovery and development. They depend on licensing what they develop to downstream firms for further development. What they produce could be either related to a specific drug or a tech platform.

Hybrid Model 

The hybrid model combines the platform and product-based model. Using this model, you can license your technology or delivery services to customers in the pharma industry and advance to commercialize products once they get authorized. Your company will then benefit from stable revenues from both ends. 

Development-Only Model 

A pharma company based on this model opts not to do early research in-house. They license candidates from other pharma companies instead to finalize clinical development. They also go through marketing procedures to bring new medicinal products to the industry. 

5. Go Through Research and Development

This is the lengthiest stage of the entire process of setting up the pharma startups. As the name suggests, this stage involves a large amount of research to ensure that the drug you’ve identified can be mass replicated and distributed safely to consumers. 

For this, you’ll need to undertake many clinical trials after the initial testing phase is done and over with. Make sure that whatever claim you make about the product is backed up by sufficient scientific evidence. 

Remember that it’s crucial to ensure your intellectual property is protected, so make sure you research how to license your company’s medicines before you reach this stage.

6. Look at Other Successful Startups

All of these steps can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re just beginning to look into launching pharma startups. Luckily, there are thousands of other successful start-ups who built their businesses from the ground up. 

When the process seems impossible, it can be encouraging to look at others who have been successful in the industry. Bit Bio is a UK-based startup that specializes in cell therapy-based solutions. It was founded by two doctors: Dr. Mark Kotter and Dr. Florian Schuster. The company is now an award-winning human synthetic biology enterprise with a current focus on developing a scalable technology platform capable of producing consistent batches of every human cell. 

RealMeds is another example of a successful pharma company that began as a small start-up. The company focuses on providing pharmaceutical manufacturers with a unique QR code for their clients’ products. This mechanism allows for product scanning for inventory auditing, transport to the distributor, customer point of sale, and more. It then records transactions for all stakeholders to check for any consistencies. 

Back to news