inThought: Bridging Science and Business to Address Unmet Medical Needs

inThought | Bennett C Weintraub
inThought | Bennett C Weintraub

In today’s dynamic healthcare landscape, staying ahead of the competition and making informed decisions in the field of drug development and commercialization is a daunting task. The sheer volume of clinical, regulatory, scientific and commercial information available makes it increasingly challenging for biopharmaceutical companies and institutional investors to extract meaningful insights and navigate the complex healthcare business intelligence environment. However, amid this information overload, inThought, a leading pharmaceutical consulting, market research and analytics firm, emerges as a beacon of clarity and expertise, offering a solution to organize and assess the vast amount of data.

As the demand for accurate and up-to-date information on competitive drug development and marketed products continues to rise, accessing comprehensive healthcare business intelligence becomes crucial. Companies and investors need a reliable partner who can help them sift through the vast ocean of information, distilling it into actionable insights. This is where inThought steps in, leveraging its expertise and cutting-edge analytical capabilities to provide a structured and systematic approach to organizing and assessing the wealth of data available in the pharmaceutical industry.

inThought recognizes the need for a strategic and streamlined approach to healthcare business intelligence. Through its extensive experience and deep understanding of the industry, the company has developed robust methodologies and proprietary tools to gather, analyze and synthesize information from diverse sources. Whether it’s clinical trial data, regulatory guidelines, scientific literature, or market trends, inThought possesses the capabilities to transform raw data into valuable insights.

By partnering with inThought, biopharmaceutical companies and institutional investors gain access to a comprehensive suite of services that enable them to make informed decisions confidently. The company’s expertise in business development, competitive analysis and commercialization strategies empowers clients to understand the competitive landscape, identify market opportunities, and optimize their product portfolios. inThought’s holistic approach ensures that decision-makers have a clear understanding of the market dynamics, customer needs, and potential risks, enabling them to develop strategies that maximize the impact of their investments.

In an era where data overload can hinder progress, inThought, led by President Ben Weintraub stands as a trusted ally, providing a structured framework to navigate the complexities of healthcare business intelligence. By harnessing the power of advanced analytics and industry knowledge, inThought helps its partners extract actionable insights, paving the way for successful drug development, market access and commercialization.

Let’s learn about how inThought being a strategic partner is helping organizations navigate the vast sea of information and make data-driven decisions that drive innovation and positively impact patient care.

Founding Story

The idea for inThought started in 2008. Ben recalls the story highlighting, “Thomson had just bought Reuters, where I was working, and the writing was on the wall for my group. I was in Brazil for the summer, and I called Adam Schaeffer from Wolters Kluwer (WK) and asked him if he wanted to combine the groups he was building at WK with me and a few others from Reuters. I remember walking around some random neighborhood in Belo Horizonte in Brazil saying “Let’s go for it!” It took Adam only a couple of days to get the green light from WK and set about combining the two groups. Four people from Reuters, three from WK, and one other set about to leverage the WK data and platform to offer decision support services to both investors and pharma/biotech companies.”

“I’m proud that among the eight people that started inThought, we still have Adam, myself, Julie Hoggatt, Leon Henderson, and Michael Zuckerman together 15 years later. Two of the other founders, Charlie Moirano and David Yee, retired but are still very much part of the inThought family.”

He continues, “inThought became an independent company via an employee buyout in 2014, and we’ve grown over the last decade to now reach 31 people, including an amazing group of 25 analysts, most with PhDs, who understand both the business and the science of drug discovery. Each analyst “owns” one or two therapeutic areas, where they are tasked with being the world expert, attending medical conferences and speaking with “key opinion leaders” to ensure that they stay on the cutting edge.”

Ben emphasizes, “What makes us unique is our ability to help companies understand the points of view of both their customers (doctors) and their owners (investors), balancing the need to take the time to perform rigorous, expensive clinical trials designed to address unmet medical needs with the need to consistently demonstrate the potential for significant return on their investments. It’s not that pharma and biotech companies misunderstand the need to focus on the long game of drug discovery; it’s just that they sometimes need help demonstrating the rationale for these long term investments in human health.”

“One way that inThought stands out from its peers is that we’ve been able to leverage the brilliant analysts to help our clients think about not only their current challenges but areas that will be hot in the future. We have built franchises around biosimilars, eHealth, immuno-oncology, bispecifics, and Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, we are emphasizing gene therapy, cell therapy, and certain orphan diseases. It’s important to me that inThought is a partner, not a vendor, and that we push our partners in the direction that will best move science and medicine forward.”

inVision and inPhronesis

About the time when the company became an independent entity, Ben and his team started thinking about how to organize the commercial, business, scientific and medical knowledge that it takes to develop and market a new drug. Companies need to track and organize information from medical journals, press releases, medical meeting posters, company earnings calls, physician opinions, investor opinions, regulators, and insurance companies, just to name a few. Perhaps more than any other industry, drug developers are faced with a tsunami of knowledge that changes every day during a development process that typically takes 10 years and over a billion dollars per drug.

“We built the inVision system to organize, communicate and derive insight from all this knowledge,” adds Ben. “At first, it was a system designed to help the inThought analysts do their jobs better, but five years ago we started to open it up to our clients. It quickly became clear that the potential for inVision went beyond housing the inThought analyst work, and we formed the independent business unit inPhronesis in 2018 specifically to develop inVision.”

Core Mission

inThought’s mission is to help bring lifesaving medicines to patients. The company works with the developers of these new medicines and the investors that fund them. “I hope that we can do just a little bit to help all the stakeholders understand how important it is to take risks and invest the capital required for breakthroughs that lead to new medicines,” emphasizes Ben.

inPhronesis’s mission is different. “Here we seek to turn the tsunami of knowledge into actionable insights. Pharma and biotech companies typically make good decisions, but the inVision system will make those decisions more clear and faster and also helps avoid the occasional catastrophe,” he adds.

Three Pillars of Decision Support

inThought decision support comes in three flavors – daily monitoring of therapeutic landscapes, medical conference coverage, and (its most popular) retainer agreements for whatever fire drills come up.

inPhronesis on the other hand offers three primary ways to turn knowledge into actionable insight:

  • The conference module organizes the activities of a particular company before, during, and after medical conferences like ASCO or AHA.
  • Dynamic timelines help to visualize a given therapeutic landscape, providing an up-to-the-minute view of the company’s assumptions about its programs and its competitors.
  • The full inVision portal provides an organized hub of knowledge that is customized to the way that each company thinks about its business.

Scaling 2023 and Beyond

Looking ahead into the year and beyond, Ben points out that inVision is the growth engine. He adds, “We are just starting on its journey as a product independent of inThought consulting. Meanwhile, we are growing the consulting business organically, focusing on opportunities like decision support for startups that we find the most impactful and rewarding.”

Words of Wisdom

To the budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts who desire to venture into the Digital Therapeutics Market, Ben advises, “Focus on quality and have fun. I’m pleased every day that assembling a group of brilliant people has led not only to a good consulting business but a tight-knit family. Perhaps our secret is that we’re 100% remote (and have been since well before COVID), and rarely get to see each other in person.”

Ben Weintraub in Brief

“Like most of the inThought analysts, I was a bench scientist for many years. My research involved describing the interaction of one protein in a B cell signaling cascade relevant to tolerance vs immunity in a narrow model system. But what I really cared about was tracking the progress of science at the most macro level. inThought is a group of big-picture thinkers that enjoy the challenge of working on the lung cancer pipeline on Monday, a toenail fungus drug launch on Tuesday, and patient education in dermatology on Wednesday.”

“After a brief stint as a journal editor at Cell Press (still not big picture enough for me), I became a Wall Street analyst covering biotech, which I loved. The analyst work evolved into a position at Reuters, then the founding of inThought.”