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Competitive Intelligence: How to Get an Edge Over Your Competitors and Earn Investor Trust to Win the Product Development Race

On April 19, 2022, experts from Halloran’s Strategy and Program Leadership team (Anmol Grover, Associate Principal Consultant, and Erika Dahl, Lead Consultant) co-moderated a panel on Maximizing Insights to Inform Your Winning Strategy & Improve Investor Relations” to talk through how competitive intelligence can help biopharma product developers get an edge over their competitors to make winning decisions. They partnered with Chris Krueger, CBO of Ventyx Biosciences, Dr. Daniel Corey, Founder & CSO of CERo Therapeutics, and Sarah Boyce, President & CEO of Avidity Biosciences.

One of the panelists said it best: “competitive intelligence is a no-brainer. Even if you’re in a space that’s untouched, this discipline shows you what else is going on from a scientific and environmental perspective.” We couldn’t agree more, especially because of the unprecedented success, advancement, and investment in biotech research and development. As a result, competition is as fierce as it has ever been.

Competitive intelligence is a continuous process that occurs throughout early and late-stage development and encompasses the entire development lifecycle. How to leverage all this information is a major component of competitive intelligence. In this article, we will share a few insights from the event to highlight how companies are using competitive intelligence to design smart clinical trials, differentiate their therapy, and maximize their relationships with their investors.

Competitive Intelligence Sources and How They Should be Maximized

Competitive intelligence is composed of one-third primary research and two-thirds secondary research. To clarify, primary research is information gathered through self-conducted research methods, while secondary research is information gathered from previously conducted studies.

These methods include a mixture of researching press releases, navigating company websites, literature reviews, engaging Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), searching proprietary databases, and leveraging internal team members’ expertise (i.e., CSO or CMO). Some of the panelists also stated that “you can gain a lot of competitive intelligence insights by speaking to the community, networking at events, and by subscribing to databases and newsletters.”  

How Competitive Intelligence Shapes Development Strategies

Panelists shared the following ways in which they use competitive intelligence to shape their development strategies:

  1. Enables an evaluation of commercial opportunities that meet a high bar by allowing them to look at other compounds ahead of their compounds to see the strengths and weakness of those compounds. Ultimately, this allows companies to differentiate themselves from the current compounds. One of the panelists stated that they “specifically look at the compounds ahead of them, so that they aren’t just another ‘me too’ but that their product is meaningfully different.”
  2. The diligence aspect helps them to understand what’s going on from a policy perspective, regulatory perspective, etc. and helps them to gather scientific and environmental intelligence.
  3. Specifically in cell therapy, it helps them understand the experience of consortia and/or investigators with dosing cell therapy and allows them to see what potential paths or sites are available. The panelist who spoke on this point stated that “if there are potential signatures, it is important to look for the potentially available data, since there is such a bottleneck of getting therapies in the cell therapy space; more often than not, things haven’t worked and there is information that needs to be gleaned.”

Using Competitive Intelligence to Manage Investors

One of the panelists stated, “when you have good partnerships with your investors, you need to be informed – you have to be informed!” Using competitive intelligence allows companies to be informed and helps to manage investors’ expectations and reservations about a product.

Competitive intelligence helps companies understand how their compound compares to others and will allow deep insight into indications that are unmet, high risk, etc. Ultimately, companies have multiple ways of approaching the insight and using this information to maximize their relationship with their investors and deepen trust. Competitive intelligence also helps a company to be well prepared with investor conversations, assuage investors’ concerns, and aide investors in helping and guiding a company to be successful. 


There is no shortage of competitive intelligence sources and the opportunities to maximize this insight to make winning decisions and better their investor relationships are strong. It will be up to the company to assess all the information that’s available in order to glean insights and make strategic decisions, and though not a simple task, it’s a necessary one for success. If your organization is beginning this process, we hope these examples provide ways in which your team can get started with competitive intelligence or refine their processes.


If you have any questions about this content or want to further this conversation, please be in contact with our team.