Staying on track: A guide to scientific storytelling
Find out how to create compelling scientific stories and keep them on track at every stage of the journey.
A product lifecycle is like a rollercoaster, complete with highs, lows, twists and turns.
A credible, consistent and compelling scientific story can really help you stay on track and will evolve to meet different needs and priorities at every stage of the journey. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you consider and explore them all.
Each stage has an overview, question checklist and case study to aid understanding. If you prefer to go direct to a specific stage just use the navigation on the right.
Buckle up riders
This is where we learn about the importance of defining a CREDIBLE, CONSISTENT & COMPELLING scientific story from the GET GO
Welcome to Phase i
Congratulations, the ride of your life (cycle) is underway…
Phase I is often dismissed as being too early to clarify a scientific story due to a lack of compelling evidence. But that can be a very costly mistake!
Without a compelling vision, the support and alignment for your program can suffer. Indeed, with declining R&D productivity and so much riding on cross-functional performance, from trial design to market access approaches, this may be the most important time for story.
Lack of interest may undermine the precious momentum required to sustain development and undermine launch velocity. We all know what happens to projects with little support or resource allocation… they often disintegrate.
So, you must clarify your hypothesis, quest and vision so that you can motivate others to support your endeavors. You’re looking for a credible, consistent and compelling story that sets out where your scientific story is heading and why it is important to a range of internal and external stakeholders.
Engaging and enrolling beyond logic – connecting head & heart.
With Pharma R&D now costing between $2.71 and $5.8 billion per successful product launch, such small, timely investments can have a tremendous impact.
1) Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry: New estimates of R&D costs. DiMasi, Grabowski, and Hansen. Journal of Health Economics, May 2016
Here are some great questions to ask yourself (with team) at this stage…
- What is the new target or disease model/how is this different?
- What’s at the heart of our endeavor (the premise of the story)?
- Who are the key internal stakeholders, and what do they care about for buy-in?
- How does it promise to disrupt, complement or make existing treatments better?
- What’s at stake with this innovation/story?
- What role are we asking different people to play at this stage of development?
- What can we learn about this target/disease process if the molecule fails to hit key metrics?
- How could the world change for patients and other key stakeholders (e.g. payers) if we are successful?
Some questions may be difficult to answer at such an early stage – but we must not let that stop us trying to land why this story matters – how it will connect, engage and motivate others.
Proteus Case Study
SITUATION – Creating an ingestible sensor that can be added to any prescription drug to allow live monitoring was the early stage vision for Proteus Digital Health. Despite considerable awareness and media coverage, such disruptive innovation also needed a credible, consistent and compelling story to convince partners (from Pharma through to healthcare systems) around the world to back it and realise its full potential.
STORY SOLUTION – The early stage story for Proteus needed to frame a choice for key stakeholders – will you take the lead and ‘Switch ON’ treatment to help monitor, assess and improve adherence – or wait and see what happens when your competitor goes first? This ‘choice’ storyline reinforced Proteus positioning as thought leaders in the developing field of digital health. It also helped secure fast track status from the FDA and identify the partners committed to truly disruptive innovation in multiple disease states. Their story is only just beginning…