How digital solutions solve the “3D chess game” and drive Commercial success
by Joe DePinto | November 23, 2020
A Vineti technology perspective from Chief Commercial Officer Joe DePinto
Joe DePinto, Vineti’s Chief Commercial Officer, is a long-time leader in cell and gene therapies, and a veteran biotech and pharma executive with more than 28 years of experience.
Q: In traditional pharma, the supply chain is typically the purview of manufacturing -- but in cell and gene therapies, the Commercial team is also deeply involved. How do you navigate that?
Joe DePinto: From a commercial standpoint, it’s critical to have a good understanding of how your supply chain leverages value to the brand. That happens in two ways -- when you can access data, and when you gain understanding along the product journey.
Supply chain data is so critical to understand -- when the drug is given, how the drug is given, what the Chain of Condition, Chain of Identity, and Chain of Custody look like along the way. Being able to track that longitudinally is very positive, and you absolutely need a standardized digital supply chain platform like Vineti’s PTM ® to make that happen.
Supply chain data is also essential to understanding where your complex product is on the journey, so that you can understand revenue recognition. You can understand how much of your product is being delivered at certain Centers of Excellence and how your segmentation of your customers breaks out. And you can do that in real time by capturing the data in the supply chain system. You don't have to wait two months for your sales data to show up. You should have a just-in-time understanding of how your product is being used in the market.
When your supply chain delivers this kind of advantage to your brand, you have created
a true value chain -- the full range of activities that make a product valuable.
Q: How does supply chain technology enable these types of commercial insights?
Joe DePinto: In cell and gene, you must have a good understanding of how you are going to play this 3D chess game between the patient journey, the product journey, and the reimbursement journey. You need to understand each journey individually first, and then what the overlap looks like. What levers are overlapping each of the journeys? From there, how can you pull those levers to your brand?
With the complexity of the supply chain and the multiple levers that occur in commercialization, it's essential to have strong, consistent standards and systems in place. There are so many points along the supply chain where variability can occur, and having a consistent platform like PTM can help to manage some of that variability.
Logistics in manufacturing are really important -- understanding just-in-time management of some of the materials. There’s also patient scheduling. Patients have real-world issues. Their schedules change and things happen. You need to help healthcare professionals provide flexible care, and also respond in terms of manufacturing and logistics. So you have to be able to understand and manage that flexibility within your supply chain platform.
Q: Can Commercial teams really achieve a unique brand experience through a platform?
Joe DePinto: Brand differentiation and solid customer experience can definitely occur with a platform. But differentiation will need to happen in the context of value-based healthcare. It’s unreasonable to expect healthcare professions to navigate a future state with unique customized systems for each product when there are 20 or 30 cell and gene therapies on the market. I just don't think that they are going to support those infrastructures in their Centers of Excellence. They want one way to manage patients in the most efficient and effective fashion.
So I think using a platform and then building differentiation through configurations, not customization, is going to be really important. And you need a real understanding of what those differentiation levers are -- what moves the needle in value.
Q. What’s next for cell and gene therapies?
Joe DePinto: It’s all about simplification right now. The science is incredibly exciting. But standardization is really important at this point. We all need consistent performance and long-term data out of reliable systems to show the value of cell and gene, and that means we need a common platform. I think we're still in the early days of cell and gene, so the time to create infrastructure is now. People talk about cell and gene as an overwhelming challenge. My response is, “Are you kidding me?” We’re only in the second inning.
For more information read our perspective from Vineti's CEO Amy DuRoss where she discusses how our team is entirely focused on continuing to expand Vineti’s Personalized Therapy Management (PTM) ® platform, the leading digital solution for personalized medicine supply chains. As industry analysts have widely noted, complexity is a critical limiting factor for advanced therapies, especially in the areas of manufacturing and supply chain. We believe PTM will be crucial to help simplify and standardize how advanced therapies are delivered at scale. Learn more now!
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“In cell and gene, you must have a good understanding of how you are going to play this 3D chess game between the patient journey, the product journey, and the reimbursement journey.”
Before joining Vineti, Joe DePinto was most recently President of Health Specialty Solutions at Cardinal Health, leading one of the fastest-growing businesses within the Fortune 14-ranked company. He is also a veteran of multiple biotech and pharmaceutical companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, and Dendreon. For more perspective from Joe on advanced therapy supply chain strategies, please see his recent article in PharmaVOICE.