Written by Kevin Hampton, Director of Marketing, Kineticos

Since Kineticos announced the Q4 2015 results of the Biopharma CEO Confidence Index, much has been said about the dip in confidence among biopharma (primarily emerging biotech) CEOs. However, there are also opportunities that emerge when the capital markets are experiencing a bit of a downturn. The theme of the Q4 index was indeed an increased level of uncertainty, but the data set also suggests certain sub segments of the life science industry, particularly service providers, should be encouraged.

Pertaining to clinical development, almost half (46% – Figure 1) of our Q4 CEO respondents felt that their in-house clinical capabilities are limited and 55% (Figure 2) stated that they outsource 75-100% of their clinical studies. This indicates the demand for CRO partners remains high. Kineticos has some of its deepest relationships within the global CRO market and can confirm that proposals for clinical studies are on the rise.


Commercialization is another function often outsourced among the biotech community, especially in a bearish market. Sales and marketing are obviously not prorities for many early-stage biotech companies, but as the need for commercialization approaches, it’s something CEOs look to outsource and feel confident in doing so. In fact, only 17% (Figure 3) of our Q4 respondents plan to commercialize independently, which is down 9% from Q3 2015. This tells us that the weaker the market is, the more likely CEOs will either outsource their commercialization efforts or choose to commercialize via external partners. Building a full-scale sales and marketing function from scratch doesn’t appear to be an attractive alternative in today’s market environment.


The results from the Q4 Biopharma CEO Confidence Index tell us that uncertainty for some translates into opportunity for others, and that as uncertainty builds, so does the popularity of outsourcing models among biotech CEOs. A thoughtful outsourcing strategy that is properly executed is critical to riding out the tough times, and can also accelerate growth regardless of the market conditions.


Kevin Hampton, Director of Marketing, leads Kineticos’ marketing efforts and is focused on building a brand that reflects Kineticos’ deep life science expertise and passion for improving patient outcomes.  Mr. Hampton is responsible for the strategy and execution of Kienticos’ thought leadership and lead generation programs and also supports the sales function within Kineticos to ensure objectives remain aligned.

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