A Day in the Life
A Day in the Life – Associate Consultant
After doing a quick email check, I drive into our office from NYC, listening to NPR to get an update on the news of the day. Once I get in to the office, I make myself a coffee and write a short list of goals for the day based on my current projects. Since I just joined a new project, which is an opportunity assessment of a new drug for an ultra-rare blood disorder, I need to quickly familiarize myself with the area. Before our official internal project kick-off meeting, I get a quick overview of the disease pathophysiology, epidemiology, diagnosis and current treatment. I then join the rest of the project team (the principal who is the project manager, a senior consultant and an analyst) in the conference room to discuss the scope, goals and individual responsibilities of the project. After the meeting, I search our internal knowledge database for any previous work our company did on that disease to use as a jumping off point on the deliverable. Before breaking for lunch, I start to populate our PowerPoint template with an outline of relevant information.
Topped off with lunch, a cappuccino and some familiarity with the disease space, I draft an in-depth discussion guide that we will use for our primary research with KOLs. Although we like to keep the discussions collegial and fluid, the discussion guide is very helpful at shaping the direction of the conversation and enables us to easily dive into the complexities of critical points. After a quick formatting review, I email the deliverable outline and discussion guide to the project manager for feedback.
I switch gears to another project, which is an oncology indication prioritization that is further along. I have an interview with a payer scheduled and we discuss the current market and coverage for available products. To get specific feedback on our client’s product, I show the payer a target product profile and probe on how each endpoint will factor into coverage determination. After the interview, I write some top-line takeaways and send a note to the client. As the day is winding down, I pop into my colleagues’ offices to discuss our current thinking on the conclusions and recommendations we will present to the client. Talking with other consultants and principals at DH is my favorite part of the job and usually results in learning something new every day.
A Day in the Life – Associate Consultant
After hitting the gym in the morning, I head to the office and settle in around 8:30am. I finished a discussion guide the day before, so now I’m spending some time on PubMed to search for immunotherapy experts to interview about a novel oncology product. At 11am everyone heads into the conference room for our weekly staff meeting, where we discuss the status of each project. After the staff meeting, I switch to working on a diabetes project that requires a product revenue forecast and a survey to support the assumptions in the model. I trim down the survey questions, proofread it, and send it off to our programming vendor so that they can build the online version. We’ll eventually analyze the survey results to see exactly how physicians treat patients and if they would consider using a novel product over current products.
After grabbing a salad for lunch at the nearby grocery store, I prep for my interview with a respiratory disease expert for my third project. I work with the physician during the interview to help define what a theoretical target product profile would look like and what benchmarks the product would need to achieve to gain regulatory approval and commercial success. Unfortunately, the expert does not think the technology will work in the specified respiratory disease. I’ll have to think of a way to delicately break it to the client. Perhaps, I’ll suggest an alternative rare disease for which their technology may be better suited. I’m starting to feel a little tired, so I go to the break room for a hot chocolate pick me up and commiserate with anyone else experiencing a 3pm slump.
I go back to working on my diabetes project, putting together PowerPoint slides on the advantages and disadvantages of currently marketed products. I profile a few interesting agents in development that could potentially be competitors to the product we’re assessing. I also add a summary of the unmet patient needs and other primary research I gathered from the physician interviews. I try to finish the bulk of the slides before leaving at 6pm for the quarterly social event, a few hours of bowling in Madison, the next town over. I thoroughly embarrass myself but still win a prize for the lowest score of round 2. It’s time to head home and get some sleep, since I have an early call with a client in the morning.
A Day in the Life – Senior Research Analyst
On my way into work, I listen to Bloomberg radio on the way in and take note of anything that might be relevant for the day. Most days I arrive at our office in Florham Park between 9AM and 10AM and head to the kitchen to make my morning espresso. Once I get to my standing desk, I peruse through the news and share articles with relevant colleagues related to current projects. My manager pops by my desk to check in on current projects and asks me to pull analyst reports of a rare disease company, for a consultant to use as a case study in a proposal. Looks like I might be staffed on a rare disease project in the near-future! After sending over a few reports, I turn my attention towards assisting a principal with his latest gene and cell therapies webinar. He needs me to pull together slides around financing and deal trends for his talk. I send him over some slides and take a deep breath. I can’t believe it’s already 1:30PM!
For lunch today, I head over to the cafeteria downstairs to grab a bite. While the lunch lady and I are chatting about our upcoming weekends, I receive a note from a client asking questions about a recent forecast I helped put together. The client has an investor presentation next week and needs to get on the phone with our team immediately to parse through our revenue forecast assumptions for their lead product, which treats a rare eye disease. I eat lunch in the conference room while on the call with the rest of our team. While on the call, the client brings up a new scientific publication that highlights a new patient segment. The project manager (PM) mentions we will consider the suggestion. After the call ends at 3PM, the team reviews the paper and discusses the proposed change. We agree that we need to update the forecast model. I head back to my desk and work with an associate consultant (AC) to put together slides and rework our model. After sending our materials over to the PM, he approves our changes and the AC sends the update to the client. It’s 5PM already, where has the day gone???
After refilling my water bottle in the kitchen and asking some colleagues, if they’ll join me for drinks at a local gastropub later tonight, I get a start on putting together disease overview slides for renal cell carcinoma. I spend some time reading scientific reviews and market research reports to get more familiar with the disease. At around 7PM, I start packing up for the day and send an email to my colleagues, who mentioned they’d join me at the Thirsty Turtle for food and drinks, telling them to meet at the pub at 7:15PM. We stay for about an hour and talk about our favorite podcasts, upcoming travel plans, and tease each other about our food/drink preferences. Just another day at Defined Health…
A Day in the Life – Analyst
After heading into the office around 9am, I quickly go to the kitchen to grab my morning coffee. The jolt of energy from the coffee gets me revved up to start my day. I respond to a few emails, one of which is from my manager informing me that I’ve been placed on a new 6-8-week rare disease competitive analysis. My project manager welcomes me to the new project and invites me to the internal kick-off in a few hours via email. He asks me to pull a pipeline of the agents in development worldwide for a rare disease. After sending the pipeline, I head to a meeting scheduled with my other project manager to review forecast assumptions for a CNS project we are working on. We have an interesting discussion about how to ground our assumptions with product analogs. As a follow-up to our meeting, he asks me to look up forecasted sales of the product analogs in one of our databases. The day is flying by as it’s already lunch-time. I make my way over to the conference room, because we have a lunch and learn! Today we’re learning about what it takes to succeed in the biotech industry from our current mentor in residence. I grab some pizza around noon and settle into the conference room.
After lunch, I work on reviewing head and neck cancer clinical trials for the head of the oncology practice. After reviewing agents in development, I create a set of slides incorporating analytics to show which companies are furthest along in development. After talking through the slides with our oncology therapeutic area head and others on my team, we narrow down a few interesting companies to profile for further discussion with the client. I begin to do some secondary research on company websites. I go over to a fellow associate consultant who has some prior experience in head and neck cancer to bounce some companies and ideas off her. Now, it’s time to incorporate those points into my slide deck. I can’t believe it’s already 3 pm, it’s definitely time to get some cake that one of our associates brought in.
Once I eat my quick snack, I head over to another meeting to go over the formulary tables I had just populated with our respiratory disease therapeutic area head. She’s heading the payer workstream for a project on COPD/Asthma. I make a few quick tweaks to my tables and present the slides to the internal team. She wanted to show the formulary status of different inhalers to inform the how best to market their product given payers’ reimbursement habits of competing inhalers. Other team members present their portions of the deck and we discuss next steps for the project. I can’t believe it’s almost time to go home, I respond to a few emails and then head home to enjoy a night of relaxed reading!