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Back in September 2019, Pharma Commerce chatted with Jim Lang, CEO of the recently formed EVERSANA, a life science services platform built in partnership with Water Street Healthcare Partners and JLL Partners. Encompassing the six service providers that Water Street and JLL had merged over the previous year, including Dohmen Life Science Services, The Access Group, Alliance Life Sciences, Health Strategies Group, Triplefin, and Patient Experience Project, EVERSANA was established to deliver a fully integrated service portfolio to help life science leaders create value for key constituents across the product lifecycle. Now the leading independent provider of global services to the life sciences industry, the company serves more than 500 organizations, including innovative start-ups and established pharma companies.
It’s fair to say that a lot has happened since that conversation in 2019. Pharma Commerce caught up with Lang again recently to discuss EVERSANA’s continuing rise in an industry (and a world) that has seen seismic changes taking place.
Pharma Commerce: How has the industry evolved over the last four years since EVERSANA was created?
Jim Lang: We have seen the continued growth of small and emerging biotech companies that are bringing breakthrough new therapies to market. These companies often may not have the resources to support all aspects of commercialization, and the EVERSANA model has really served them well. Our approach of a single point of contact or lead that can bring in all the right experts—from patient services to 3PL distribution to field teams to agency marketing and more has resonated well with the industry in our first few years. Ten years ago, you didn’t see quite as much of this.
We have also seen increased speed with which therapies are coming to market. Look at what happened when we needed treatment options for COVID. Across all sizes of manufacturers, companies needed to find new and innovative ways to expedite approvals through regulators while still maintaining the highest level of quality to ensure the integrity of the therapies. When in the history of drug development could therapies be approved and provided to patients in less than one year? COVID, for its many challenges and pains that we continue to feel, helped our industry rethink many approaches to commercialization with a deeper focus on patients.
We see this with clients of all sizes, from small to large pharmaceuticals, and across the globe. Scalability of services to help get therapies to patients in need is always the focus. How we do it—through services like our integrated platform powered by unmatched data—is really what is gaining more traction in the industry.
Has the company’s positioning resonated with various parts of pharma?
We are fortunate to have clients of all sizes including ongoing work with many large pharmaceutical companies. Many services—patient services, channel management, for example, have a long history of working with big customers. This momentum continues as we continue to deliver on their expectations for today while helping them understand other areas of our commercialization services we could support.
We are committed to driving innovation and transformation in the life sciences industry—next generation solutions if you will. This resonates no matter what the size of the organization. We are focused every day on doing things better, from digital innovation to novel approaches to field services powered by industry data. Our recent partnership with UpscriptHealth is a great example of that. Using the power of our data and analytics platform with our HUB and patient services programs and connecting now with UpscriptHealth’s digital health platform, we believe we can create a better experience for patients by connecting the dots.
Patients expect it today, and we’re really focused on these types of transformational initiatives.
You have announced a number of full commercialization partnerships in the past two years, with Evoke being the first. Why are companies turning to you for these and what key lessons have you learned?
Our EVERSANA COMPLETE Commercialization model has been well received. It is designed to disrupt the industry by optimizing investments, minimizing risks, and increasing speed to market. Companies who work with us on COMPLETE programs turn to EVERSANA to lead every aspect of a product launch. We have a single point of contact—we call them our Chief Commercial Officers—who work directly with our clients as the lead throughout the launch process.
From approvals to pre-launch communication assets developed for HCP communities, to navigating regulatory approval to the training of field teams, to setting up both patient support and distribution programs, we do it all. And we do it as true partners. In our COMPLETE model, we win when our customer wins. It is a long-term process over the course of multiple years.
Why are they turning to EVERSANA? First, they believe in our mission—to assemble the industry’s top teams together and work towards a singular purpose—to create a healthier world. Second, they know they are getting exceptional quality, no matter what part of EVERSANA works with them. And finally, from a financial model, instead of investing hundreds of millions of dollars in internal infrastructure to build it themselves, or licensing out a therapy to another company, in our model you still control the asset and its long-term impact.
What is on the horizon for EVERSANA as you continue to expand?
We will continue to evolve and innovate. How can technology make our work better? How can we be more efficient and more connected than ever before? We will invest in our continued growth globally. We have seen rapid expansion in the past few years in Tokyo, China, India, and Singapore, as our teams help clients develop and launch strategies, both in the region, but across the world. And in Europe, we’ve more than tripled our employee population in the last year, culminating with the opening of our office in London just last month.
We are committed to growth, whether adding new teams to the platform, or investing in our people. We have worked hard to create a culture that is unlike any place I have worked. We are grounded in our beliefs, which are our guiding principles. Our company is special, and I hear it from employees often. We will continue to invest in our people because they make EVERSANA special for our clients and the patients we serve.
For the second consecutive year, our Net Promoter Score placed EVERSANA in the top decile among the industry based on client feedback, all because of the work of our people. That’s special.
What therapeutic areas have EVERSANA focused on? Many of your companies have a deep history in rare disease, but you have also announced a recent partnership in oncology and digital therapeutics.
We will continue to leverage our expertise in serving the needs of rare disease patients. We have been a proud member of NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders) and Global Genes for years, because we take to heart how our services help these patients and their families. Especially our patient services and channel management teams, but really across all EVERSANA, this population really matters to us.
In addition, with the number of new oncology therapies coming to market over the next 10 years, coupled with our experiences in bringing several treatments to market, oncology will be a priority. We helped one client get their therapy from approval to launch in less than eight months. We could only do this because of the infrastructure we have created and the passionate team members who push each other so hard each day.
We will work across all therapeutic areas, but one area that continues to grow quickly is digital therapeutics. Our team, led by Ed Cox and Martin Culjat, are arguably the premier experts in this space. They have helped nearly a dozen companies in the past two years achieve breakthrough status, getting one step closer to placing that therapy—digitally—in the hands of patients. That’s the future. That’s innovation, and this is one area we expect to grow.
You have accomplished a lot in a short time. What keeps you energized?
We have worked hard over the past four plus years to create a category in the life science industry that did not exist. Outsourced commercialization existed in pockets, but to do it all, under one roof, with such talented colleagues, is special. We could not do it without each of them. And we could not do it without the trust of our clients.
What keeps me going? Our people. Our customers. An industry that needs constant innovation. And most importantly, the patients we touch. Not everyone at EVERSANA is patient-facing. In fact, most are not. But by what we do holistically, no matter what a person’s role, impacts patient lives.
When I hear the stories of our frontline employees who have helped families secure important medication, or how our team does whatever it takes to solve complex challenges, that is what keeps me going. It is a privilege to build something so special. And we’re just getting started.