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Warren Cook, Commercial Lead

Innovation and why people matter more than models

02 May 2015

We admire the initiative and ambitions of the student-led Innovation Forum to link innovative minds and build bridges between academia, industry and the government to promote innovation, and were delighted to sponsor this year’s Innovation Forum. This is because central to the culture of Mundipharma is that we were founded by two inspirational entrepreneurs. The influence of our founders continues to power the culture of our organization. Mundipharma has independent associated companies across the world, enabling each company to innovate.

I was invited to speak at this year’s event about our innovative business model and shared with delegates my belief that people, rather than business models, are central to innovation.

It’s really the people that make Mundipharma the kind of company it is. Our people are the driving force that powers innovation through our organization and eventually out into the marketplace. Other pharmaceutical companies might have a therapeutic area or technology focus to their pipeline. This traditional pharmaceutical business model is perhaps easier to explain and justify to their investors than our entrepreneurial approach to innovation that solely has the end goal in sight.

We also don’t believe in innovation for its own sake. Technology just enables a vision. Innovations at Mundipharma rather have to meet the needs of the payor as well as the patient. Global healthcare systems aren’t able to afford innovation for innovations sake anymore. We therefore always have a vision in mind of the difference our products will make and only look for innovations that address payor as well as patient needs. Or in other words - innovations that we can sell and healthcare systems can afford.  We don’t care about therapeutic area or stage of the studies. Rather we remain focussed on our vision and ask ourselves two key questions when we assess assets: ‘What difference will this product make to patients?’ and critically ‘Can we sell it?’

We take great care to hire people who are like minded and value vision over experience. We also strive to maintain the open culture often associated with our entrepreneurial founders in which everyone is a hands-on contributor to our business innovation model and feel comfortable sharing their ideas.

However, to conclude it’s not easy to find products that fit our vision. We get approached with a lot of ideas but unfortunately most of them don’t address the payor.

I believe our approach to innovation is right for the times and we offer partners an attractive and unique proposition. So if you think you might have a product that is looking for a commercialization partner please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.