Selling into early-stage research and clinical programs is critical to having your technology, products, or services embedded in a new disease or drug program. Still, unless you have all the right connections at thousands of organizations (or a crystal ball!), identifying those programs when the opportunity is ripe, well, it’s just incredibly challenging. With over 30,000 new publications and press releases alone each week, sorting through the biomedical landscape to find new programs at the right time is beyond human scale.

Your team has a lot to do, less time to do it, and the new reality of working from home creates more obstacles than ever before. So, how do you overcome the “overwhelm” and find the right opportunities at the right time?

Well, what are the clues that indicate what the right time is?

We call those clues “events”. There are many of them, but they’re not usually easy to find, even when you’re really looking. For commercial teams targeting early-stage drug research, these clues are activities that indicate that a company is gearing up to advance its drug pipeline. New disease research programs might be signaled by grant announcements or other evidence that show the organization is investing in people or resources to accelerate important programs.

So, how do I find these “compelling events”?

Most commercial teams leverage industry sources, such as paid reports, company websites, news feeds, PubMed,, Google alerts, and so much more. Well, how about that crystal ball instead? Or better yet, something highly scientific that works like one and is capable of going beyond human scale to process millions of data points to reveal these clues. That’s sophisticated, machine learning technology.

PhDs and data scientists have trained machines to read and evaluate every research publication, clinical trial, press release, and numerous other sources of information the way a scientist would. That’s contextual machine learning, and we’ve seen firsthand the power it has to transform commercial teams.

For example, Amplion’s intelligence software uses this technology to find and alert you to signals for emerging programs that are relevant to you, based on criteria you’ve preselected. Did we mention there are lots of them? Even though you get alerts in your inbox, you still need to discern what the clues are telling you, so let’s take a look at some of the most relevant events and why they’re meaningful.

The top 5 event types that signal research or clinical programs are advancing:

1. New publications or conference abstracts
Conferences are significant sources of information and connection. You (and all your competitors!) send a team to each conference, where you divide and conquer, attending talks and documenting poster details. You work on meeting the right contacts at the organizations and you care about, then you come back to the office, download, review, and evaluate your finds for those programs that match your capabilities. In the weeks or months it takes to process all this information and identify the critical signals, many programs are likely to have already started without you.

Looking for the gems sometimes uncovers them, sometimes not, but these clues are of the can’t-miss variety, so you do what you have to. And now that so many conferences are canceled or virtual, it’s harder to gain the insights you otherwise might with presentations and networking. But machine learning can automatically compile all the data from conferences, publications, and press releases and mesh together technical attributes to match your product and service capabilities. Here’s what having those insights handed to you looks like:

2. Funding announcements
Biopharma companies coming out of stealth mode. Organizations with promising research. These are key potential targets. And they’re often accompanied by a necessary influx of investment when it’s time to move those programs forward. Funding reports can help, but they are usually missing the critical qualification details. A holistic view that includes program details, publications, collaborations, and other organizational details completes the picture and helps you identify those programs that need your company’s capabilities. Alerts regarding funding events are some of the most important in defining when to reach out, as they signal a readiness to initiate new work:

3. New hire announcements
When a company hires a Chief Medical Officer or Chief Scientific Officer, particularly for the first time, it likely means a significant shift, since they indicate the company is preparing for future clinical trials or expanding research programs. Alone, this event might be just a breadcrumb, but it is a progress indicator to track for early-stage companies and programs. That said, manually evaluating all Life Sciences new hires to find the ones that match your technical capabilities and business goals is something no one has time for. Automated delivery of new hire announcements to your inbox that are only those for companies that match your ideal customer profile means you can assess the importance in your own context and your own time. Here’s your next clue:

4. New partnership announcements
When one of your target companies partners with a competitor on a project, it’s a clue that your technology is probably a good fit, and you should start tracking that company’s other activities. To drive innovation, sometimes your target companies will find collaborators with complementary goals and resources. Knowing what they’re embarking on may be an insight that can help you figure out when is the right time to reach out:

5. Corporate strategy/investor news
Big moves like IPO’s and mergers are usually accompanied by some fanfare, which can overshadow more subtle or nuanced news. Knowing when a company changes strategy or has made statements in investor presentations about R&D plans may take more time and effort to research and identify. But certainly, these are also clues that can tell you when there’s a shift in strategy that aligns with your capabilities:

Real-time monitoring helps you piece together the stories of your target customers—what they’re currently doing, what they’re planning, who their partners are, and much more. Getting the right information at just the right time can certainly help you get a jump on your competitors. A fully automated machine-learning solution that offers up answers instead of leaving you with more questions is key to getting in early with the full story. You still have to connect and make the deals, but you’ll be armed with detailed knowledge of each organization and program that will help you dazzle the dealmakers with your insight into their needs. And as for how you know? Just say you have a crystal ball.

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