Drug Discovery

greater role in the future of medicine, developers of MS technologies are increasingly looking to better meet the needs of biopharma discovery workflows. Here, there is a clear focus on automation, minia- turisation and making both instruments and anal- ysis software more user-friendly. “In the future, we should expect to see greater

use of miniaturised systems that can be implement- ed directly into automated drug synthesis and test- ing processes,” says Plumb. “Direct ionisation techniques are also likely to mature from the early research-focused products to more mainstream solutions geared towards non-expert users.” With MS becoming more widely used in drug

discovery, the requirement for user-friendly tech- nologies that meet the needs of non-MS specialists does not simply relate to instruments themselves. The analysis workflows and software used to con- trol them is also set to become increasingly acces- sible and here, computer algorithms are likely to take up the slack. “The biggest change that I expect over the next

three to five years is the incorporation of artificial intelligence into MS data analysis, enabling the searching of not only well-organised databases but also external data such as journal text,” says Plumb. “This will greatly increase the knowledge generation from MS data sources.” MS has long been a valuable tool in the drug dis-

covery toolbox, however recent advances are set to open up an array of new opportunities for biophar- maceutical developers and patients alike. The abil- ity to combine increasingly powerful MS analysis with orthogonal techniques, such as capillary elec- trophoresis, SEC and IEX is allowing researchers to obtain answers to questions that would other- wise not be possible using traditional separation methods. Moreover, the latest MS tools are helping to minimise or even eliminate the complex sample preparation steps that are a current bottleneck in many MS workflows. By providing researchers with effective solutions, these technologies are helping to accelerate the delivery of safe and effec- tive biotherapeutics to patients.


Helen Stewart-Miller is Director of PR Services and Dr Richard Massey is a science writer at BioStrata, a life science specialist marketing agen- cy. The company’s growing team in Cambridge (UK) and Boston (US) includes a significant num- ber of people with deep scientific experience and knowledge. The agency offers everything from strategy, branding and message development through to content creation, creative services, dig- ital marketing and public relations.

Drug Discovery World Summer 2018 39

How much should a drug discovery company spend on marketing?

By Paul Avery, Managing Director, and Craig Townsend, Director of Sales and Marketing Services, BioStrata


reating a great product or service is only half the battle when it comes to developing and growing a successful drug discovery business: often the company that markets itself most effectively will outcompete its

rivals (even if these competitors have superior offerings on paper). So how much should a company invest in these activities? The US Small Business Administration suggests that small businesses

(defined as firms with less than $5 million in revenue) should spend 7-8% of their revenue on marketing. However, in reality, these companies are often competing with larger operations that spend more than this benchmark. For example, according to a 2016 survey of US and UK marketers, respondents from businesses with revenues of $250-500 million spent approximately 10% of that amount on marketing. Those from businesses with more than $5 billion in revenue spent even more – around 13%. The BioStrata team has decades of combined experience working across the

breadth of the life science industry, including the drug discovery sector. During this time, we have estimated that some companies are spending as little as 1% of their annual revenue on marketing, while at the opposite end of the spec- trum, others are routinely investing as much as 10% (ie in line with suggested benchmarks). Regardless of budget, all companies working in drug discovery are facing

growing pressure to make their marketing plans smarter and their investment work harder. It is therefore essential to identify and execute marketing strate- gies and tactics that have a proven track record of delivering an effective return on investment and that will help you achieve your marketing and sales goals. Unsure how best to invest your budget to achieve your marketing objectives?

Get in touch to book a free assessment today – visit: sultation.

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