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Marketing Analysis of A Fathers Love: Novazyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Western-Li Summerton

Portland State University


Marketing Analysis of A Fathers Love: Novazyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

A Fathers Love: Novazyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc., by Richard Bohmer and Bradley

Campbell of Harvard Business School illustrates John Crowleys journey and efforts to start

Novazyme Pharmaceuticals in order to not only save his kids from Pompes disease, but also

produce medicines for patients affected by other varieties of LSD diseases (Bohmer and

Bradley). The various challenges and obstacles that Crowley and Dr. William Canfield faced led

them to make decisions in how they approached their marketing. This paper aims to analyze this

article and identify how environmental factors, product mix, and ethical/social responsibility

affected how their products were marketed.

It is important to look at the context in which the product was developed in order to see

Novazymes entrance into the market, and how it impacted later marketing strategy. Canfield

received his funding through the University of Oklahomas Trust office, in which he was able to

attain the patent rights for his technology. The university funded this knowing that the target

market would be between 2000-3000 customers, in this context labeled as patients. His process

of Targeted Therapy was an original idea in a small market, creating a sustainable competitive

advantage. However, because of the LSD treatments small market size, 2000-3000 patients

juxtaposed against 50,000-500,000 patients being treated by established companies, Novazyme

was compelled to price its product at a higher rate. With curing his patients with Pompes,

launching the product rapidly, and setting a higher standard of for clinical programs in the LSD

area as identified objectives, Crowley and Canfield were able to analyze strengths and

weaknesses of their product. They identified this small market, and consequently how they could

priced the product, as a weakness. But with a product that fit a certain niche, they knew the
products strength would allow them to later increase not only their product line for other LSD

drugs, but also expand their market internationally.

Being a biotechnology company and creating a product within FDA guidelines,

Novazyme generated internal primary data of the effectiveness of clinical trials in order to

provide detailed information for their target market. A difficult aspect of this was defining the

metric in which the information would be categorized. Because the healing process and patient

response can be subjective, it would be hard to define data as qualitative or quantitative. The

article states using caregiver-rated disability indexes or the ability administer personal

hygiene as metrics. Novazyme hoped that by establishing high quality endpoints within their

testing process, they would raise the standard of what the FDA would allow in order to prevent

competitors from entering the market. It important to see that due to this innovative product,

Novazyme was able to create metrics and therefore control their market. The market control isnt

necessarily a monopoly, but Novazyme would have a large share of it. Novazymes objective of

getting the product in the market as soon as possible seemed to serve as an obstacle, as skipping

phases of initial trials could diminish the value of products, especially when key opinion leaders

could give a bad review of this drug. It would seem that Novazymes emergence had high stakes.

Novazymes supply chain was pertinent to increasing and sustaining the product value.

The Health Strategies Consultancy LLC reports, As we have shown, the price of prescription

drugs paid by the consumer is determined by a constellation of negotiated contracts between

manufacturers, PBMs, wholesale distributors, pharmacies, and plan sponsors. Novazyme had

many options available to them in terms of supply chain, and utilized a two part strategy that

helped fulfill several objectives. By entering into deals with several contract manufacturing
organizations, Novazyme was able to access established and professional GMP plants in order to

get their product into the market rapidly. However, it was effective for them to start and

company owned GMP plant and stimulate internal process development. This GMP plant served

as a long term asset investment that would help Novazyme prolong its sustainable competitive

advantage.

The article further discusses how Novazyme was confronted with the decision of creating

strategic partnerships. Gentech seemed like a very promising strategic partnership, as the

collaboration in a joint venture would allow Crowley and Canfield to still have a sense of

independence in their business, but also additional resources and supplementation to supply

chain management. Co-branding in general would help Novazyme receive attention from

Gentechs established market base and established brand. Though Genzyme was a leading

competitor in the business with a powerful product, buying out Novazyme and combining the

two firms research departments for Pompe would seem to have a negative effect on the new

organizational structure. In the end, Crowley wanted the decision to be in line with healing

patients such as his family. In 2001, Genzyme bought out Novasyme, and claims to move

forward aggressively with the development of Novazyme lead product candidate, NZ-1001, an

enzyme replacement therapy for Pompe disease. (Evaluate Group)

Because Novasyme was a biotechnology company, it had to market differently than a

pharmaceutical company. Because of the small market size and higher product price, Novasyme

supported marketing efforts that were educational and advocated for the patients. This

educational aspect was delivered through direct contact between consumer and sales

representation that spent larger spans of time detailing the product than a pharmaceutical
company representative would. This created a larger value for the product, as the consumer

would realize the rarity of the product. For a physician that infrequently comes across a disease

like Pompes, the educational aspect of the marketing method is still very necessary. The

educational aspect came hand in hand with the patient advocacy aspect of the product, and

transitioned marketing representatives in to caregiver roles for the patients. Not only does this

illustrate the customer relation and promotional aspect of Novazymes product, but also a sense

of social responsibility that was in line with their primary objective.

Novazyme discovered a new need and market based on a necessity. With many obstacles

such a racing against the clock, FDA regulation, creating new standards for metrics within

biotechnology, and finding the right way to market to a niche customer base, Novazyme

navigated environmental factors in order to fulfill objectives.


References

Bohmer, R., & Campbell, B. (2002). A Father's Love: Novazyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Harvard

Business Journal. Retrieved June 10, 2017.

Follow the Pill: understanding the U.S. commercial pharmaceutical supply chain. (2005). Menlo

Park, CA: Henry H. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Genzyme Completes Acquisition of Novazyme Pharmaceuticals. (n.d.). Retrieved June 11, 2017,

from http://www.evaluategroup.com/Universal/View.aspx?type=Story&id=14255