Pennside Partners Welcomes New European Director

Posted by Tom Penrice on Mon,Feb 20, 2017 @ 06:34 PM

Tom Perkins joins Pennside Partners, a pharma and biotech consulting firim, as European Director.Pennside Partners extends a warm welcome to Tom Perkins, who has been hired as a Director based out of our Zurich office. Tom brings 14 years of pharmaceutical consulting experience to Pennside. Tom is joining Pennside after more than a decade with leading market research firm, GfK. He began his pharma career first as an intern at V2 (acquired by GfK) during his studies at St. Joseph’s University (Philadelphia, PA, United States). He then quickly advanced through the organization to become a Division Manager of GfK’s Swiss arm based in Basel, Switzerland where he was the key account manager for one of GfK’s top clients.

Tom brings vast expertise in respiratory conditions (COPD, PAH, Cystic Fibrosis) and previous experience in oncology and hematology. In his last 3 years with GfK, Tom was running launch tracking for a major respiratory player. Previously, he was the project leader for the largest primary market research program ever conducted in Type 2 Diabetes where over 6,000 physicians and 10,000 patients from 26 countries gave insights on physician communication and marketing. Publications regarding this Diabetes project are forthcoming in 2017.

“We are excited to have Tom join our team. He will be an integral part of our plans to expand our European presence while continuing to provide excellent service to our existing client base. Our recent staff additions as well as the opening of our Manchester, UK area office in May of 2016 demonstrate our commitment to delivering the highest quality business development support, strategy, and competitive intelligence services to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries on a global scale,” said Tom Penrice, VP and Co-Founder of Pennside Partners.

For more information, including how Pennside can help you with your business development and competitive intelligence needs, contact Pennside Partners at 610-372-7000 or

Pennside Partners EU Headquaters in Zurich, Switzerland, from which Pennside's new European Director will serve Pennside's pharmaceutical and biotech clients.Pennside’s Zurich office is located at Balsberg, Balz Zimmermann Strasse 7, CH-8058 Zurich-Flughafen, Switzerland and can be reached at +41 79 372 7070. You may also visit the company website:

About Pennside Partners

Pennside Partners is a leading business development consulting firm that has been serving the global pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device sectors for more than 25 years. We earn our clients’ trust by consistently delivering high quality, actionable business insights and competitive intelligence. Our clients gain significant competitive advantages, including knowledge we acquire from mining the industry's deepest analog repository containing unmatched data insights into major launches. We offer an expert worldwide team of industry professionals who support our clients by formulating best-in-class tactical and strategic analysis. 

Pennside Partners is a leading pharmaceutical and biotech consulting firm with over 25 years experience. They are headquartered in the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Tags: Pharma Consulting, Biotech Consulting

7 Top Pharma Trends for 2017

Posted by Tom Penrice on Tue,Feb 07, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Seven pharmaceutical industry trends for 2017 by pharma consulting firm Pennside PartnersFrom the effects of Donald Trump’s election as US president to pioneering therapies for Alzheimer’s, some trends are set to continue and others to emerge as the global pharmaceutical industry pushes into 2017.

Analyzing the top seven pharma trends forecast for the new year, Pennside Partners offers some key insights into the essentials.


Pharma Trend #1: High-tech pharma

With inhalers that track doses and products that monitor patient compliance, high-tech in medication is becoming increasingly important. “The big thing that strikes me is how pharma is becoming more and more dependent on medtech,” commented Dr. Munna Choudhury of AlacraMed in an interview with Life Science Investing News. These technological additions give a product its competitive edge, according to Choudhury. The article highlights that as a result, we could see more collaborations between pharmaceutical companies and unlikely players, such as telecoms companies and mobile device manufacturers. With support from these tech firms, pharmaceutical manufacturers can develop holistic products to support applications including diagnostics, monitoring, and compliance.

Similarly, PharmaPro expects companies to unlock the potential of AI, Big Data, and Cloud technologies to support their supply chains, predict outcomes, and prescribe actions autonomously – offering significant promise for return on investment. PharmaPro said: “In 2017 these advancements will continue to evolve to make the entire supply chain autonomous.”


Pharma Trend #2: New treatments for Alzheimer’s

As the baby boomer generation grows older, the Alzheimer’s Association predicts Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) to account for almost 25% of Medicare spending by 2040 – a huge increase over the predicted 2.1% of Medicare spending in 2020. So far, the pharmaceutical industry has not discovered an optimal response to the disease. According to, although billions of dollars have been invested in targeted antibody drugs, the trend is likely to shift towards alternative scientific approaches in 2017.

One theory is that Alzheimer’s can be fought by preventing the immune system from removing synapses required for neuronal functioning. The article also highlights that an anti-inflammatory drug reportedly improved memory in a small set of patients with mild cases of AD.


Pharma Trend #3: Political uncertainty in the UK

A significant carry-over trend from 2016 is the political uncertainty following Brexit. According to Pharmafocus, significant consequences of the UK leaving the EU on the pharmaceutical industry could be regulatory. The article explains that for a drug to be placed on the EU market it must have a marketing authorization (MA), which may be granted by the European Medicines Agency’s recommendation to the European Commission.

Alternatively, applications may be considered by a ‘reference member state’ (RMS) residing in the EU. Once approved by that country, the other EU RMS should grant national approvals. It is not yet clear whether the UK could continue to be the RMS for authorized products after it leaves the EU. For more analyses of the possible consequences of Brexit, click here.


Pharma Trend #4: The Trump Effect

In addition to UK and EU market uncertainties, the US is anticipating its own economic policy uncertainty with the election of Donald Trump as president. Trump’s plans appear to be a mixed bag for consumers and Big Pharma alike because it is nearly impossible to gauge their potential impact. Trump’s health plan states: “Reform the Food and Drug Administration, to put greater focus on the need of patients for new and innovative medical products.” According to The Washington Post, this represents a hint that the drug and medical device industries may soon have an easier time getting products to market. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, countered, “…the general deregulatory rhetoric…is a worry for us, but as applied to FDA, it would be very troubling,” meaning that deregulation may compromise safety standards.

Trump has also pledged to cut corporation tax for American companies, with The Telegraph reporting that this move could trigger significant pharma mega-mergers. Furthermore, Trump has suggested he would allow businesses to repatriate money earned overseas into the US without facing hefty fines.

Yet, Trump has intimated that he would allow the importation of high-price medications from abroad, where they are cheaper, notes The Telegraph. This would result in parallel markets entering into direct competition with the US market. While it is impossible to foresee where these proposed reforms will take the economic and regulatory aspects of the pharmaceutical industry, it will be vital to have a finger on the pulse.


Pharma Trend #5: Drug prices

The end of 2016 saw several major pharma companies sued for allegedly fixing drug prices, and public outcry in the face of pricing is likely to continue into 2017. Pharmaceutical consultant Carole Bruckler told Pharmaceutical Investment News: “In the US, there is clear political will forming against annual or quarterly drug price increases to fuel sales growth.”

Although the election of Trump is likely to prove more favorable to drug prices than a Clinton victory would have – under Trump, we could see reduced regulation on drug price inflation – pharma companies may have to reconsider their business models, warns the article. Bruckler added, “For pharma revenues to be sustainable in the future there needs to be an increased focus on volume growth … so investors need to really understand the substance behind their investments.”


Pharma Trend #6: Biosimilar profitability

Biosimilar drugs present a more affordable option for the consumer and are also potentially lucrative for manufacturing companies. Importantly in 2017, these biological products are set to continue to increase in popularity. Since the first biosimilar drug was approved for use in America in 2015, there are now more than 700 biosimilars approved or in the pipeline. Sales could be boosted by 11 key biologics that face loss of exclusivity over the next seven years, with biosimilar sales expected to generate 27 per cent of the total pharma market by 2020.  


Pharma Trend #7: The microbiome

DNA sequencing tools that have boosted understanding of how we exist with the bacteria in our guts has brought the microbiome to significant prominence in biology over recent years. Research suggesting that the bacterial composition of the gut affects mood opens up new avenues for the treatment of depression and other mental illness or disorders of the central nervous system. However, according to, how biotech and pharma companies can develop drugs based on this science is an open question – despite development in that direction.

Pennside Partners is a leading pharmaceutical and biotech consulting firm with over 25 years experience. They are headquartered in the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Tags: Pharma Consulting, Pharma Trends

Pennside Partners, Ltd. Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Posted by Tom Penrice on Mon,Nov 30, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Pennside Partners, Ltd. is a leading business development consulting firm serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device sectors worldwide.

This year Pennside Partners celebrates over 25 years of being a trusted partner within the pharma and biotech industries.

At Pennside, we have gained our client’s trust by consistently delivering high-quality, actionable business insight and competitive intelligence. Our mission is to help our pharma and biotech clients rapidly formulate winning strategies and tactics by providing the industry’s most accurate business intelligence and market insight. With headquarters in both the United States and Switzerland, we are able to quickly and thoroughly respond to the unique needs of each client worldwide.

What Pennside Partners, Ltd. Offers

Pennside Partners, Ltd. provides of the following services:

  • Competitive benchmarking
  • Therapeutic category monitoring
  • Developmental pipeline analysis
  • Brand strategy support
  • New commercial models
  • Pricing & reimbursement
  • Technology due diligence
  • War games and strategy
  • Manufacturing cost analysis
  • Clinical/ regulatory strategy
  • OTC drugs and Rx switch
  • Orphan / rare drug launch
  • Business Development

Pennside Partners, Ltd. can provide insight to these therapeutic categories of interest:

  • Oncology
  • Orphan / rare disease
  • Cardiovascular
  • CNS
  • Endocrinology/ Diabetes
  • Respiratory
  • Anti-infective
  • Dermatology
  • Gastro-intestinal
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Rheumatology & bone health
  • Urology
  • Vaccines
  • Women’s health

What is in store for Pennside Partners, Ltd.

In the weeks and months ahead we plan to devote considerable energy to addressing key biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry topics of interest, including:

  • Prelaunch and launch planning
  • Launch analogs
  • Business development
  • Brand strategy
  • Benchmarking
  • Competitive intelligence (CI) and monitoring
  • Pipeline analysis
  • Disease landscape
  • Licensing and acquisition


Meet Pennside’s Team

Michael A. Rhoads, President and Co- founder

Mike has 25 years of experience as a consultant to the global pharmaceutical industry. He has managed over 300 competitive clinical benchmarking assignments since 1990. Under his supervision, the Pennside medical staff has completed a variety of strategic and tactical assessments covering all major therapeutic categories. As Director of the Clinical Strategies Group within Pennside, he personally directed multiple clinical CI programs in various therapeutic categories. Mike is one of the earliest participants in the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP), and an acknowledged expert in the field of competitive clinical intelligence. He has delivered numerous keynote addresses at SCIP annual meetings and was selected to conduct two specific educational workshops for the drug industry in recent years.

Mike earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from Colgate University.

Thomas J. Penrice, Vice President and Co- founder of Pennside Partners, Ltd.

Tom has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. As a pharmaceutical industry consultant since 1986, he has conducted and managed hundreds of projects in most major disease states and numerous drug delivery technologies.

Tom earned his MBA from the Advanced Management Program at Michigan State University and a B.S. in chemistry from Marquette University.

Anthony Arleth, Managing Director US

Tony has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He spent 21 years at GlaxoSmithKline, with extensive experience in business opportunity analysis. He began his career as a bench scientist and is a trained biochemist / molecular pharmacologist. He brings a wide range of industry knowledge to Pennside, with specialization in the Cardiovascular, Oncology, and Pharmacogenetic areas.

Tony earned his undergraduate degree from Villanova University and conducted graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University

Eric Vaichunas, M.D., MHSA, Medical Director

Eric has over four years of clinical experience in general medicine. Over the course of his experience, he was involved in various aspects of the internal medicine field with several key opinion leaders at Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, IL, St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York, NY; and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY.

Eric earned his M.D. from St. Matthew’s School of Medicine, his M.S. in Health Service Administration from St. Joseph’s College of Maine, and his B.S. in Biomedical Science from Hahnemann University. Eric completed a year of graduate work in Biomedical Science at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.


Contact Us!

Contact Pennside Partners, a leading pharma and biotech consulting firm, at our US or EU headquarters.

To learn more about the advantages of our leading strategic consulting services contact our US or EU offices:

US: +1 610 372 7000

UK: +44 20 3695 7639

Switzerland: +41 79 372 7070

Contact Pennside Partners for all your pharma and biotech consulting needs

Pennside Partners is a leading pharmaceutical and biotech consulting firm with over 25 years experience. They are headquartered in the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Tags: Pharma Consulting, Biotech Consulting, Press Releases

Orphan Diseases Open Opportunity for Pharma, Biotech Drug Developers

Posted by Shannon Flynn on Sat,Feb 23, 2013 @ 09:00 AM

Orphan Diseases Attract Increasing Attention Across the Board

The lack of FDA-approved orphan drugs represents a significant economic opportunity for pharma and biotech drug development firmsAs patents expire and generic competition increases, more drug companies are investing in the development of therapeutics for orphan diseases. Although the pool of patients for an orphan disease is small, the economic potential of an expensive biologic administered over the lifetime of a limited number of patients presents an attractive commercial opportunity that is a savvy alternative to the en mass selling of lower-priced small molecule compounds which are the mainstay of the industry.

Pharma / Biotech Economics: 7,000 Orphan Diseases, 200 Treatments

Thomson Reuters reports that in the U.S. alone, rare diseases afflict an estimated 25 million people, representing approximately 8% of the total population[i]. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) nearly 7,000 orphan diseases have been categorized already and that number continues to grow year by year as new discoveries are made. Nevertheless, only about 200 of these have FDA approved treatments, leaving the market wide-open to newcomers.

In 2011, orphan drugs represented one third of NMEs approved by the FDA. The same year the orphan drug market was estimated at over $50 billion, accounting for roughly 6% of all pharmaceutical sales. In 2012, approximately one quarter of the 39 new drugs approved by the FDA had orphan status. This pattern continues, as a recent analysis reports that nearly 1,800 of the 5,400 drugs currently in development have received orphan status[ii].

In addition to tantalizing premium prices, which can range from $100,000 to over $400,000 per patient annually, growth is driven by government incentives including tax credits, grants, and regulatory fee waivers as well as shortened approval times and higher probability of approval. Faster uptake, lower marketing costs and longer market exclusivity are also key drivers of growth. In addition, patient organizations often raise funds for research, lowering R&D spend.

Hurdles to Drug Development

Though the lucrative profit potential of these drugs is alluring, success in the orphan market is not without its own set of challenges. Lack of education and awareness among patients and providers alike, along with sometimes poor diagnostic methods hinders identification of the target patient population. Rare disorders are often cryptic, leaving patients misdiagnosed or undiagnosed for long periods of time which can span many years. For example, it is not uncommon for patients suffering with Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) to wait up to 10 years before receiving an accurate diagnosis[iii].

Locating and recruiting patients poses logistical problems to organizing and carrying out clinical trials, resulting in increased costs. Nevertheless, companies have proven successful in overcoming these obstacles and expanding the patient population through utilizing social media, engaging patient advocacy groups and spearheading awareness campaigns and educational programs.

While the economic burden of leaving the population untreated typically outweighs the costs of treatment due to improved patient outcomes, as interest in high-priced, specialty drugs continues to grow, so does the potential for payer pushback. At present, the jaw-dropping costs are largely covered by government programs, health plans and company-sponsored payment assistance programs in order to ensure access to affordable care for patients.

Nevertheless, as patient phenotyping and personalized medicine further characterize more common diseases into specific indications, the number of diseases that meet the criteria for orphan status will continue to expand, placing even greater burden on the healthcare system.

Worthwhile Opportunity for Pharma and Biotech Drug Developers for the Foreseeable Future

For the moment however, it appears the benefits of orphan drug development far outweigh the cost for industry and payers alike, creating a stable and growing market ripe with opportunity.


[i] “The Economic Power of Orphan Drugs” Thomson Reuters Report, Aug 2012

[ii] “Innovation in the Biopharmaceutical Pipeline: A multi-dimensional view” Analysis Group, Jan 2013

[iii]  Lunn, M. L., C. B. Santos, and T. J. Craig. "Is There a Need for Clinical Guidelines in the United States for the Diagnosis of Hereditary Angioedema and the Screening of Family Members of Affected Patients?" Annals of Allergy Asthma & Immunology 104.3 (2010): 211-14.

Pennside Partners is a leading pharmaceutical and biotech consulting firm with over 25 years experience. They are headquartered in the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Tags: Drug Development, Pharma Consulting, Biotech Consulting, Orphan Drug Development

Welcome to Pharma & Biotech Today

Posted by Tom Penrice on Mon,Jan 07, 2013 @ 04:59 PM

Welcome to Pharma & Biotech Today, the blog for pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry professionals. Our goal is to provide you with thought-provoking articles and opinions to assist you in moving your pharma or biotech firm to the forefront in today's competitive market and ever-changing landscape.

Trusted pharma and biotech consulting industry services for over 20 years - Pennside Partners.20 Years Experience -
A Wealth of Information to Share 

With over 20 years in the pharma and biotech consulting business, we have a wealth of information and experience to share with you, our valued readers and subscribers.

In the weeks and months ahead we plan to devote considerable energy to addressing key biotechnolgoy and pharmaceutical industry topics of interest, including:

    • Prelaunch and launch planning and best practices
    • Launch analogs
    • Business development
    • Brand strategy
    • Benchmarking
    • Competitive intelligence (CI) and monitoring
    • Pipeline analysis
    • Disease landscape
    • Licensing and acquisition
    • Market insight
    • ... and many more!

Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology consulting experts - Pennside PartnersWe Want to Hear From You!

Tell us about any topics that interest you in today's fast-paced and ever-changing pharma and biotech fields. We'll look forward to addressing many of them in upcoming articles. We'd love to hear from you soon - just click to contact us any time.

Finally, please bookmark this site and check back often for the latest in pharma and biotech news, information, and thought leadership. 

Pennside Partners is a leading pharmaceutical and biotech consulting firm with over 25 years experience. They are headquartered in the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Tags: Pharma Brand Strategy, Pharma Consulting, Biotech Consulting, Pharma Launch Planning, Competitive Intelligence, Pipeleine Analysis, Pharma Launch Analogs

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