On November 23, 2017, Tags Case Studies


A global biopharmaceutical company has an asset in development which has the potential to monitor the therapeutic effectiveness of a new class of receptor-targeted compounds in a wide range of tumour types. A simple, transparent model was required to help explore the potential label indications being pursued in their current development programme. Analysis of the USA and top five European markets was needed, as well as a number of other markets with limited data available but a known high prevalence of the indications being pursued.


The uptake and long term success of this agent is interdependent on the success of the new class of therapeutics. Currently, no products in either the therapeutic or diagnostic class are available, and the efficacy of each product type has yet to be established. Furthermore, the likely clinical impact and adoption of the therapeutic will have a critical impact on the potential use of this ‘monitoring’ agent. At this moment in time, limited epidemiology information is available for the specific receptor target of interest. This increases the challenge when identifying the relevant patient populations that could benefit from this type of therapy and the subsequent monitoring.

Big Idea

Generating a robust long-term forecast for a healthcare asset in the oncology disease space typically requires a complex dynamic forecast model built from patient flow patterns. Dynamic patient flow models are required in order to capture the evolving nature of patient disease progression and treatment complexities. However, due to the very early development phase of this monitoring agent, a simplified approach was taken. The aim was to provide a base case from which to evaluate the likely success of the monitoring agent once successfully commercialised. A simplified patient flow was conceived which commenced with the identification of advanced cancer populations; these patient numbers were then reduced by applying a therapeutic target expression rates to highlight those who would benefit most from the new therapy; of those remaining patients, a treatment adoption rate was then applied to determine a likely treated pool. This more realistic, eligible treatment population enabled a more confident prediction of the likely use of the monitoring agent. Though the main concept of the model was relatively simple it has been built in such a way as to allow for additional levels of complexity to be included as the product moves through the development pathway.

Results & Feedback

Black Swan Analysis was rapidly able to source the most up-to-date cancer information for each tumour type in each country of interest, as well as establish the architecture for a model that would meet the client needs. The timely completion of the forecast enabled generation of key outputs for the client’s portfolio planning review.

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