Drug Development and Recruiting – Parallel Processes?

Similarities between drug development and executive search processes. Quite a few leads go into an approved candidate in both cases!

According to a recent article in Science Direct, nine out of ten drug candidates that have entered clinical studies would fail during phase I, II, III clinical trials.

Drug discovery and development is a long, costly, and high-risk process that takes over 10–15 years with an average cost of over $1–2 billion for each new drug to be approved for clinical use.

Although the population pools of qualified talent are most often much smaller than the numbers of compounds it takes to produce a single new drug, the process workflow bears a striking resemblance.

In Fig 1, we note the approximate number of drug candidates that move through various stages of the pipeline toward market approval. The article in Science Direct goes on to describe methods that might be leveraged to increase the odds for success.

Fig -1

Likewise, in Fig 2, we note that from initial research and market mapping of prospective candidates, we will find a much smaller number with the prerequisite skills for our specific role, fewer that will be interested at any one point in time, a few that might be interviewed through one or more stages with an accepted offer at the end.

The ultimate cost of a drug is reliant on numerous factors including patient population size, competing products or standard of care, payer reimbursement and others.

Within the industry, it is often said that a drug’s pricing is also reflective of all of the R&D expense that came before the single successful product which in a very true sense is paying for prior experimental failures.

Similarly, when we are questioned about high fees in the executive search industry, we reflect on the fact that hundreds of people are often contacted in any given search with only a modest few making it to an interview stage and only one making it to the offer and acceptance stage. Therefore, these costs are distributed over the range of prospects who are ruled out along the way.

The good news is that when a company is successful in making a new drug, its associated revenue streams can far outperform the R&D investment made and with a terrific new hire, the employee’s performance can far exceed the investment in the search fee.

If you need support with your recruitment process, then GeneCoda® is here to help. With our extensive experience in the Life Science recruitment field, we are certain that we can help you find the best solution to your search needs. Connect with us today to find out more. 

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