This Strategikon interview illuminates the challenges and rewards of becoming the newest addition to the Strategikon Pharma management team. Through this conversation, Brian Kelly describes why he chose to join an early-stage company that provides unique solutions focused increasing the efficiencies and accelerating business operations of clinical trials. Brian, a successful life sciences business development professional, joined Strategikon in early November 2021.
Brian, after 11 years of success at AG Mednet, why Strategikon?
I think like many people we are always looking for greater challenges and opportunities to grow. This can be risky when joining an early-stage organization. But when evaluating a company, there are several criteria to consider: the market, the product or service and the team are the most significant. Since I have been in the life sciences market for a while, that was an easy one to evaluate. Strategikon is providing solutions to an untapped but critical area of clinical business operations. Many solutions have attempted to solve these problems but have just scratched the surface. The experts at Strategikon have thoughtfully developed Clinical Maestro to address the real issues of errors and inefficiencies and lack of standardization and transparency between pharma and service providers. This is saving customers demonstrable time and money on their clinical trials budgets. Additionally, there are other more intangible benefits of data security and historical analytics.
Now that you have a whole month or so under your belt, what challenges and opportunities do you see in Clinical Business Operations Market?
The cost to develop new biopharmaceutical compound is well in excess of $1 billion. And the pressure continues to increase on organizations to reduce R&D costs AND shorten timelines. While there have been many solutions developed (EDC, CTMF, ePRO, etc.) to improve the speed and efficiency of the trial itself – until Clinical Maestro, there was not a good solution for evaluating what dollars are being spent where and are they appropriate. When companies are spending or bidding on trials worth millions of dollars, this is very important. Clinical Maestro is proving that considerable benefits can be gained by focusing on the upfront component of Clinical Business Operations including accelerating the start of the trial, fast and accurate budget development capability, and transparency between biopharma and CROs. The biggest challenge is that is industry is notoriously slow to change processes and adopt new technology. With the substantial advantages that Strategikon can offer, I am hoping to change that.
Strategikon offers solutions to both Biopharmaceutical market as well as the CRO market. Do you see this as confusing to the market? How do you plan to handle this?
There is a long list of companies that have successfully developed and sold agnostic solutions – meaning they can be applied to either pharma or service providers. Strategikon’s solutions are unique in that they get to the heart of the budgeting and finance processes for both sponsors and service providers of clinical trials. There is even a solution within Clinical Maestro for systematic governance and communication, which is essential for transparency within the sponsor/service provider ecosystem. Others have played around the edges, but Strategikon solutions are proven to provide the quantitative benefits they claim.
Additionally, my goal is to work with the rest of the Strategikon team to make EACH client successful. It is not so much about what we sell, but what benefits and advantages can we bring to our customers.
What is your management philosophy?
This one is simple. Develop and publish (internally) clear metrics for success, both for myself and my team. This way there is no question of what the organization can expect from sales. After that, treat others as I would want to be treated, which holds for me whether at work or in my private life.
At Strategikon Pharma, our mission is to lower the cost and expedite the time to market of new medical treatments through built-for-purpose cloud-based solutions that improve and accelerate the planning and outsourcing of clinical trials.
Karen Wills Strategikon Pharma