Blue Matter Blog

The Rarest of Them All: Why Neglected Rare Diseases Require a Very Different Mindset
April 1, 2020

Introduction In previous articles, we explored several important aspects of rare diseases (RDs).  First, we showed how different authorities define the term “rare disease” (or “orphan disease”).  We also established a spectrum of rarity, ranging from those diseases that are considered common—with well-established treatment paradigms—to those that are “hyper-orphan,” affecting perhaps a couple of people …

The COVID-19 Challenge: How Pharma Can Adapt and Succeed in the Face of an Uncertain Future
March 31, 2020

Current Scenario: Challenges, Opportunities, and Critical Success Factors The current situation regarding COVID-19 is alarming.  At the time of publication, infection and death rates are continuing to rise rapidly in the United States, Spain, Switzerland, and many other European countries. In other countries like China, Italy, and Germany the situation appears to be resolving, but …

How Rare Is Rare? Making Sense of Rare Disease Definitions, Nomenclature, and Patient Numbers
March 20, 2020

Many people working in and around the health care system and the biopharmaceutical industry use the terms “rare disease” and “orphan disease” on a fairly regular basis.  Obviously, they refer to any disease that’s uncommon, often with few treatment options (or no treatment options).  But what do these terms really mean? What’s the actual definition …

Location, Location, Location: Why You Need a Systematic Approach to Locating Your European HQ
March 17, 2020

Location, Location, Location:  Most regard that as the first rule of real estate.  Simply put, it refers to the fact that a home’s value can vary dramatically based solely on its location.  Nice neighborhood with good schools, low crime, and beautiful tree-lined streets? In a place like that, a home will command a much higher …

Cell-Based Therapies: Navigating Challenges Through 2020 and Beyond
March 10, 2020

In Part 1 of this series, we reviewed recent developments and upcoming milestones that are shaping the cell-based therapy landscape. Here in Part 2, we explore the various factors and challenges that will influence how each cell-based therapy—and the class as whole—will perform in the marketplace over the next few years. Some of these factors …

Europe’s Got Talent II: Deciding Who to Hire and When
March 3, 2020

When a non-EU-based biopharmaceutical company decides to establish a presence in Europe, there are seemingly countless items that need to be managed, ranging from the highly strategic to the mundane.  One of the most important items is building the European team.  In the previous article, we outlined five ways in which hiring and recruiting differ …

Europe’s Got Talent I: Five Ways Recruiting a Team in Europe Differs from the US
March 2, 2020

“Our people are our greatest asset.” That statement is a time-honored cliché in the business world.  However, clichés typically come about for a reason: They’re usually true.  No biopharmaceutical company can move into Europe without recruiting and hiring talent there.  Obviously, those are essential steps to building a local presence anywhere.  In this installment of …

How are Rare Diseases Different from Rare Oncology and Specialty Diseases and What are the Implications for Companies?
February 26, 2020

Rare vs. Specialty Diseases: Are They the Same? We’ve often been asked what the differences are between rare diseases and “specialty diseases” and/or rare cancers.  After all, these three types of disease share some similar characteristics.  For example, they’re often complex, require higher-cost and “higher touch” treatments, and a high degree of knowledge and specialization.  …

Show Me the Value: Understanding the Payer Landscape and Engaging with Payers in Europe
February 24, 2020

Basic and Essential For any biopharma company planning an initial move into Europe, there are myriad issues to address, as this series outlines.  One of the most important is ensuring that a company’s product(s) will be reimbursed by the various national payers that exist throughout European markets.  It’s a basic truth:  Payers are vital to …

Europe is Not a Country: Defining the launch sequence and market-specific strategies for a diverse Europe
February 19, 2020

Why a Europe-Tailored Strategy is Important When a biopharmaceutical company decides to enter the “European market,” it’s important to recognize that Europe is not really a single market.  Aside from having the European Medicines Agency (EMA) as common regulatory body, the European Union (EU) is actually a combination of 27 markets, each with a differentiated …

File and Don’t Forget: Securing Intellectual Property Protection and Completing Regulatory Filings
January 20, 2020

When entering European markets, a biopharma company must do a range of important things, many of which we will address throughout this series. In this installment, we cover two foundational elements of any European market entry that can set the commercial playing field for years to come.  They are 1.) Securing intellectual property (IP) protection …

Cell-Based Therapies: 2019 Year in Review and Upcoming Milestones
January 14, 2020

Last year we examined cell-based therapies through both scientific and commercial lenses. Over the last year, the field has dramatically advanced beyond the recently approved CD-19 CAR-T therapies (KYMRIAH and YESCARTA) into novel cell types and designs with potential across tumor types. In this first part of a two-part series, we will review recent and …

Blue Matter Breakfast Club Meeting #3 – A Discussion with Theresa Heggie of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
November 8, 2019

The Blue Matter Breakfast Club is an ongoing series of quarterly two-hour breakfast forums, hosted by our Rare Diseases Team.  These forums bring together leaders from companies that develop and commercialize rare disease therapies to discuss critical business issues. The third Breakfast Club meeting was on 5th November 2019 at Skylounge restaurant in Zug, Switzerland.  …

Blue Matter Ranked as One of the 25 Best Consulting Firms to Work for in Europe; Ranked #1 in Overall Business Outlook
September 24, 2019

About a month ago, we reported that Blue Matter was ranked as one of the Top 50 consulting firms to work for in North America (#30).  Obviously, we were excited about that.  Today, Vault released its rankings for Europe.  We’re thrilled to announce that we were ranked #12 among the best firms to work for …

Oncology Trends Part III: Critical Capabilities For a Successful Future
September 5, 2019

Future Trends In Parts I and II of this series, we reviewed the dramatic diagnostic and pharmaceutical advances over the past 5 years that have rapidly enhanced the standard of care, leading to significant and essentially curative outcomes for some patients. In this article, we discuss the near-term future – the possibilities as well as …

They Did It! Blue Matter Team Completes the South Coast Challenge.
September 4, 2019

This past weekend (31 August – 1 September), a team from Blue Matter took part in the South Coast Challenge to help raise money for cancer research.  Zeren Kocak, Linah Richer, Anwen Brown, Nafees Masri, Mariah Peixoto, and Magda Palczynska put on their hiking shoes and hit the trail to raise funds for Cancer Research …

Seven Keys to Success in Europe
August 26, 2019

For US-based biopharmaceutical companies seeking to expand, establishing a presence in Europe is usually an obvious next step.  Investors typically expect that a company will avail itself of such a large market opportunity and unlock the full commercial value of its assets. Europe represents the second largest market in the world for prescription pharmaceuticals.  The …

Blue Matter Ranked as One of the 50 Best Consulting Firms to Work for in North America
August 20, 2019

We are very excited to report that Blue Matter has joined the Vault Consulting 50 for 2020, earning a ranking as one of the 50 best consulting firms to work for in North America.  This was our first year participating in Vault’s annual survey.  Among all consulting firms surveyed, Blue Matter ranked #30.  Among boutique …

Blue Matter Team Gets Ready to Walk the South Coast to Raise Money for Cancer Research
July 25, 2019

The weekend of 31 August – 1 September will be a busy one for Blue Matter team members Zeren Kocak, Linah Richer, Anwen Brown, Nafees Masri, Mariah Peixoto, and Magda Palczynska.  They’ll be putting on their hiking shoes and taking part in this year’s South Coast Challenge to help raise money for cancer research. The …

Oncology Trends: Is Past Performance Predictive of Future Returns? – Part II, Unmet Needs & Future Advancements
July 16, 2019

In Part I of this series, we identified and described four key trends in oncology: Novel Drug Targets and Classes of Therapy Novel Drug Designs Tumor Biology-Based Regimens Diagnostic-Driven, Adaptive Regimens: Precision Medicine Despite the significant advances these trends represent, much unmet need remains in oncology. In this installment, we outline some of those key …