Thought Leader: Q&A with Ed Broughton - Pharmaceutical Executive


Thought Leader: Q&A with Ed Broughton
Give and Take

Pharmaceutical Executive

In addition, now that we have a very developed commercial organization, we are looking for partnerships in which we can offer our expertise to help other companies launch products. For example, we partnered with Teva Neuroscience for rasagiline, a product that is currently under FDA review for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. We thought the product matched well with our pipeline and our future plans to expand into other neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's. Teva Neuroscience developed the product, but we intend to expand the scope of the product's use into other indications.

What has changed in business develoment since you joined Eisai?

It has evolved from a function that chiefly used to manage in-licensing and out-licensing into a position that's much more about creating relationships that bring new products into the company. The relationships used to be quite straightforward, but now you see all kinds that may involve co-development, sharing responsibilities on the marketing side, etc.

I'm not aware of any companies that believe they can grow forever on the basis of their own pipeline. In that way, business development has become more than just a science. It's an art that requires skill, knowledge, and creativity.

What are some of the challenges your job brings?

It's competitive, which means it can be challenging to find the right products and opportunities. We must turn over every stone, look in every country, and explore every organization to find the types of products that will truly bring benefits to patients.

In addition, many times we only have a little bit of data to work off of when we are evaluating potential products to in-license. It can be difficult to take products in a preclinical phase and fully evaluate and understand what kind of benefits they will eventually bring. But the exciting part is envisioning the kinds of product these compounds will one day become.

Ed Broughton is senior vice president of business development and new products for Eisai. He joined the company in 1994 as director of marketing, and in 1997, he helped launch Eisai's first US product, Aricept, a treatment for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. He began his pharmaceutical career as a sales rep at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) in 1984, and held a variety of positions within BMS, including marketing research analyst, product manager for antibiotics, senior product manager for CNS, and group product director for cholesterol-reducing products.


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