PPD Competitive Landscape

Part
01
of three
Part
01

PPD Competitive Landscape: IQVIA Biotech + Covance Clinical Biotech

Both IQVIA Biotech and Covance Clinical Biotech have yet to establish a meaningful reputation as biotech-focused CROs, however both organizations appear to offer niche services that are carefully tailored for their target customers.

IQVIA Biotech

Competitive Advantage

  • Despite the fact that IQVIA Biotech is the offshoot of a larger, multinational conglomerate (somewhat similar to PPD Biotech and Parexel Biotech) and is also a relatively new entrant into the biotech/CRO industry, IQVIA Biotech does not appear to depend on the scale of its parent company for a competitive advantage, but rather relies on the company's exclusive focus on serving small biotech companies.
  • Notably, IQVIA Biotech's owned media rarely mentions the breadth of resources available to clients through IQVIA, but rather centers is messaging around the differences between small biotechs and larger pharmaceutical companies and the importance of choosing a firm like IQVIA Biotech that understands these nuances.
  • Moreover, parent company IQVIA appears to further reinforce its subsidiary's competitive position within public statements.
  • For example, commentary by IQVIA CEO Ari Bousbib and President of R&D Solutions Richard Staub does not emphasize how IQVIA Biotech will leverage the resources of its parent company, but rather highlights how the division is the "first-of-its kind" in supporting only small biotech clients and offers truly "fit-for-purpose" solutions.

Value Proposition

  • In lockstep with this competitive advantage, IQVIA Biotech asserts that the company offers "very different" services because it supports the specific needs of smaller biotech companies.
  • Although IQVIA Biotech describes its services using the same words of many of its competitors (e.g., "flexible, tailored, and integrated"), IQVIA Biotech's underlying assertion is distinct.
  • Specifically, IQVIA Biotech refers to these qualities as a byproduct of an approach that is built specifically for companies that are both in the biotech space and small, rather than as the core of the company's value proposition.

Main Features/Offerings

  • UQVIA Biotech provides offerings to support its target clients through every step of the development lifecycle.
  • These offerings are presented in two fashions (as depicted below): (1) an integrated suite of clinical and commercial offerings and (2) an in-depth journey map.
  • Unlike some of its competitors, IQVIA Biotech appears to provide robust follow-on information related to how each of these offerings are tailored specifically to service small biotech companies.

Perception by Biotech Firms

  • However, considering that IQVIA Biotech was announced approximately one year ago, it less surprising that the organization requires more time to develop a reputation among biotech firms and the industry at large.

Covance Clinical Biotech

Competitive Advantage

  • Covance Clinical Biotech appears to differentiate itself from other CROs in the biotech space by marketing only one major product/service for biotechnology clients: clinical trials.
  • Despite the fact that its parent company, Covance is a global CRO that offers a wide portfolio of services across a range of industries, Covance Clinical Biotech does not mention this expansive scale and scope of offerings in its marketing materials but rather focuses only on its highly tailored clinical trial support services.

Value Proposition

  • In lock-step with this competitive advantage, Covance Clinical biotech suggests that the company offers biotech organizations a unique level of value because its clinical trial services are "personalized" to meet the specific needs of the "progressive biotech."
  • Per the below messaging, which appears across Covance Clinical Biotech owned media (e.g., corporate website, brochures), the company indicates that this level of personalization is achieved through the company's biotech expertise, focused team and collaborative style.

Main Features/Offerings

  • As previously highlighted, Covance Cinical Biotech appears to promote only one major offering specifically for biotechnology clients: clinical trials.
  • However, the company asserts that it has a detailed, four-step process for its "proven program" in advancing "personalized clinical trials," as depicted within the following graphic.

Perception by Biotech Firms

  • An extensive review of Covance owned media channels, Covance Clinical Biotech owned media channels and associated press coverage suggest that Covance Clinical Biotech does not currently have a meaningful brand identity that this separate from its parent company.
  • Perhaps most notably, almost all media references of Covance Clinical Biotech are within owned media channels, while industry trades and other external publications do not appear to reference Covance Clinical Biotech in any meaningful way.
  • Moreover, the Covance websites do not include any customer testimonials or meaningful case studies that can be used to deduce the perceptions of existing customers.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

PPD Competitive Landscape: Parexel Biotech + Icon

Neither Parexel Biotech nor Icon appear to be well-known or well-established as biotech-specific providers within the CRO industry. Although both organizations suggest they offer expertise that is specific to the biotech space, each company's reputation as well as advertising materials indicate that both companies are still working towards this goal.

Parexel Biotech

Competitive Advantage

  • In a manner similar to PPD Biotech, Parexel Biotech appears to leverage the scale and legacy of its parent company, Parexel, to differentiate itself from other niche biotech contract research organizations (CRO).
  • For example, Parexel Biotech prominently states that the company is able to leverage the scale of Parexel in terms of bandwidth (over 1,000 consulting experts), global reach (presence in 110 countries), presence within the industry (over 1,500 clinical trial applications per year) and access to specialized resources (approximately 100 former regulators and HTA assessors ).
  • In contrast to competitors, however, Parexel Biotech also emphasizes the therapeutic expertise that it inherits through Parexel, including the Oncology Center of Excellence and Parexel's reputation in areas such as immunology, inflammation and rare/orphan diseases.

Value Proposition

  • Also similar to PPD Biotech, Parexel Biotech states that the company's unique value hinges on its ability to provide access to both the scale of its larger parent company as well as deliver the agility of niche player in the biotech industry.
  • In the words of Parexel Biotech's corporate website: "You get all the benefits of a large CRO’s services with the agility of a much smaller outfit."
  • However, unlike some of its competitors, Parexel Biotech appears to emphasize that offering "tailored, flexible solutions" includes the ability to deliver speed throughout the development lifecycle.
  • For example, Parexel Biotech promises its customers a 12% faster start-up time from final protocol to first site initiated, a 13% shorter cycle from final protocol to database lock, a 9% faster turnaround time from database lock to clinical study approval and up to 20% of efficiencies in other parts of the development lifecycle.
  • As such, Parexel Biotech's overall value proposition appears to be one centered around offering speed of delivery alongside access to robust, global resources.

Main Features/Offerings

  • According to the Parexel Biotech website, the company's primary offerings are in the area of regulatory, clinical development and market access consulting.
  • Notably, further details associated with each of these three service areas (i.e., regulatory, clinical development, market access) are provided directly through the Parexel parent website, as highlighted within the below screenshot.
  • This lack of depth in communicating biotech-specific offerings indicates that Parexel Biotech may function less as a truly industry-specific provider and more as a platform for delivering Parexel offerings to biotechnology clients.

Perception by Biotech Firms

  • A review of Parexel Biotech's owned media (e.g., corporate website, brochures) as well as associated media coverage (e.g., Proclinical) suggests that Parexel Biotech may not currently have a reputation that is independent from its parent company.
  • For example, industry publications such as Proclinical typically reference Parexel rather than Parexel Biotech.
  • However, considering that Parexel Biotech was announced approximately one year ago, it less surprising that the organization requires more time to develop a reputation among biotech firms and the industry at large.


Icon

Competitive Advantage

  • Icon appears to position itself as different and more attractive than its competitors in the biotech space by indicating that its offerings are "fully externalized."
  • Rather than presenting itself as a partner that will integrate and work closely with the existing member of a biotechnology firm, Icon is clear that its teams function as "complementary" or independent workflows.

Value Proposition

  • In contrast to the messaging of its competitors, Icon asserts that the company's clearly delineated project operations offer biotechnology firms the most "flexible approach."
  • Specifically, Icon suggests that working with a provider who offers fully externalized support gives biotechnology firms the agility to move or adjust these services as needed, in an almost plug-and-play fashion.

Main Features/Offerings

Perception by Biotech Firms

  • Perhaps the most consistent perception of Icon within the biotech industry is that the company is one of the more active and dominant players in the CRO mergers & acquisition space.
  • Both industry rankings (e.g., Proclinical) and media coverage (e.g., Outsourcing Pharma) routinely highlight how Icon's aggressive acquisition strategy is building the company's presence in biotechnology and other industries.
  • However, neither media commentary nor Icon's own case studies on its biotech website appear to refer to the company as an expert or leader in the biotech industry.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

PPD Competitive Landscape: Medpace + PPD Biotech

MedPace is differentiated from many of its competitors because of the company's long-standing history as a niche provider within the biotech industry. In contrast, PPD Biotech is looking to introduce this industry-centric focus while providing access to the scale of its much larger parent organization.

MedPace

Competitive Advantage

  • MedPace appears to have a-multi-pronged competitive advantage based on its niche industry focus, long-standing history and expansive presence globally.
  • Perhaps most notably, MedPace has an almost exclusive focus on partnering with small and medium-sized biopharmaceutical companies; in particular, approximately 90% of its client base are smaller companies who are active in this space.
  • In parallel, MedPace has a long-standing, 27-year history of working not only in medical industry by specifically with biotechnology firms.
  • Meanwhile, MedPace also offers its clients the unique advantage of a truly global presence.
  • For example, the company employs 3,600 team members in 37 countries, operates 32 offices worldwide, has facilitated submissions in over 60 nations and has a particularly "strong presence" in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific.
  • As such, MedPace offers its biotechnology clients the expertise of a niche industry provider alongside the breadth of global contract research organization (CRO).

Value Proposition

  • MedPace's value proposition can be summarized by its tagline "Trusted by Biotech," as highlighted within the following branded graphic.
  • Owing to the company's extensive industry experience and unique focus on working almost solely with smaller biopharma companies, MedPace characterizes itself as a true partner the "shares your passion" and "understands the unique challenges" that face biotechs.
  • According to MedPace, it offers clients a unique level of insight, attention and service based on the fact that the entire company (from its culture to its operating structure) is "purposely designed" to accommodate the very specific needs of its niche clientele.
  • In particular, MedPace offers clients 5 self-identified "advantages": full-service offerings, solution-oriented teams, acting as an extension of the client, responsiveness and experience.
  • Meanwhile, MedPace also suggests that its unique ability to partner with biotech organizations is further reinforced by its standing as a top-10 CRO.

Main Features/Offerings

  • MedPace offers a full range of services that support the entire development lifecycle.
  • Specifically, MedPace organizes its offerings into those for the (1) early phase, (2) phase IIb through III and (3) RWE through late phase.
  • Meanwhile, the company's discrete offerings range from strategy and proof of concept development to the commercialization of newly developed products.

Perception by Biotech Firms

  • Overall, MedPace's ranking as a top-10 CRO suggests the company has a strong industry presence and a reputation that attracts a significant volume of biotech customers.
  • In particular, MedPace asserts that it is "renowned" for its regulatory affairs insight and is well-known for its "scientific reputation and relationships."
  • Although MedPace does not promote customer testimonials across its owned media channels (e.g., corporate website, brochures), the company's numerous case studies appear to corroborate these reputational claims.

PPD Biotech

Competitive Advantage

  • PPD Biotech's competitive advantage appears to rely on its scale as an organization as well as its access to the resources of its parent company PPD.
  • In itself, PPD Biotech offers clients access to a dedicated team of 350 professionals who have collectively completed 650 studies for 270 biotech and small pharma clients over the last five years.
  • In parallel, PPD Biotech also has access to its parent company's "complete scope of services" and team of over 20,000 professionals worldwide.
  • As such, PPD Biotech can shift as appropriate from a niche provider with industry-specific expertise to one that benefits from the "rapid scalability" of its parent organization.

Value Proposition

  • Building on this competitive advantage, PPD Biotech advertises its value proposition as one of combining its "global power and capabilities" as a subsidiary of PPD with the tailored and flexible approach of an organization that is specifically focused on serving the biotech industry.
  • This value proposition is prominently stated across the company's marketing materials, as demonstrated within the following PPD Biotech advertisement.

Main Features/Offerings

Perception by Biotech Firms

  • Available customer reviews suggest that PPD Biotech delivers on its value proposition to provide access to the scale of PPD while maintaining the flexibility of a biotech specialist.
  • For example, biotech company Alnylam asserts that PPD Biotech has served a strong provider that has offered a global reach alongside the nimble, urgent mindset of an experienced biopharma partner.
  • Separately, the VP of clinical operations at a growing biotechnology company asserts that the culture within PPD Biotech matches that of their company employees, making it easier to integrate resources and collaborate as a team.
Sources
Sources