Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology

Pharmaceutical and Biotech companies face critical business challenges in containing costs, complying with a myriad of government regulatory and safety requirements, sustaining an effective R&D / product development organization, and producing a robust product pipeline, as well as reaching the desired target markets with unique and differentiated marketing and sales strategies. In addition, the ability to attract and retain key talent in today's fast-paced and ever-competitive environment is more critical than ever.

RW Stearns has more than a decade of experience working with a broad base of clients across the entire spectrum of the Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Healthcare sectors, and understands the issues they are facing in today's environment.


As generic pharmaceuticals are increasing in number, keeping the development pipeline filled with new drugs is one of the key challenges faced by pharmaceutical companies today. The costs for drug discoveries and development keep rising, while the tougher regulatory environment means new product introduction processes and portfolio management are more critical than ever. Drug safety remains vital, and competition within the industry is intensifying. Pharmaceutical companies need to partner with firms who are aware of the demands and challenges facing their sector. One of the leading vertical segments for RW Stearns, the Pharmaceutical sector is growing at a rate faster than all other industry segments, and our expertise and reach into this sector is unparalleled.

Following is a small sampling of our many successful Pharmaceutical industry projects:

  • Competitive Intelligence: Cardiovascular Sales Force - A leading pharmaceutical company requested we provide detailed information regarding the size and structure of competitor's cardiovascular sales force. The requested company had recently integrated a new acquisition into their organization, and it was unknown exactly how this new sales force would be structured, and which products would be detailed. Our deliverable was a 5-page organizational chart showing the management structure of the new sales organization and accompanying headcounts for each of the Regional Sales Managers. Also provided were detailed interview results describing which products the sales representatives carried, and in which order they were being promoted.

  • Medical Directors - Our client was searching to fill a Medical Director position within their Oncology therapy area. After analyzing the competitive landscape, we provided a detailed proposal that outlined a strategy for their request. The project was approved, the research conducted, and the client was provided a list of 40 functionally relevant Medical Directors who were currently supporting oncology products, which helped them produce some immediate traction in obtaining a steady flow of candidates for their position.

  • Biostatisticians - Our client, a top pharmaceutical company, was seeking a variety of biostatistics experts from several of their competitors. For this project we researched the target companies and isolated the biostatistics groups that were determining statistical methodology and statistical plans for clinical trials. Within these groups we identified the Directors, Associate Directors and Managers directly responsible for overseeing biostatistics. In addition, we also identified the senior-level Biostatisticians with PhDs, and the Statistical Programmers responsible for supporting the Biostatisticians. We provided a total of 191 relevant individuals to our client, who was able to fill several of their openings.

  • Scientists, Protein Therapeutics - Our client was seeking to fill a number of R&D positions in the area of protein characterization. We researched several pharmaceutical companies and determined which groups were responsible for protein characterization or biophysical characterization for protein/antibody therapeutics. Within these groups we identified the individual contributor Associates, Associate Scientists and Scientists responsible for formulation stability studies for development of commercial protein formulation, developing stability assays, and performing sample and data analyses.


From its roots in the recombinant DNA techniques developed in the 1970's, the biotechnology industry has seen amazing developments in the last decade. Hundreds of new vaccines and therapies have been developed for diseases like HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and cancer, among others. In an industry that requires heavy investment in R&D and which faces increasing regulatory requirements, corporate partnering and M&A activities have taken on new importance for Biotech firms. Whether your challenge is finding talent in a very specialized environment, or keeping one step ahead of your competitors, RW Stearns has the industry expertise to help you meet your goals.

Following is a small sampling of our many successful Biotechnology industry projects:

  • Scientists, Phage Display - Our client was seeking research scientists who were responsible for designing and executing target-specific selection strategies of phage display libraries and developing assays that will enable the characterization and selection of desirable phage-derived antibodies. A focused list of target companies was compiled, and within them the appropriate scientists were identified. Criteria used to isolate the relevant individuals included performing library panning and screening; expression, purification and biochemical characterization of antibody fragments and IgGs.

  • Competitive Intelligence: Regulatory Affairs, Compliance and Audit Organizations - For this project our client was seeking to map out the organizational structure of the regulatory affairs and regulatory compliance/audit groups at five of their top competitors. For the regulatory affairs portion we targeted the senior leadership over the groups that were responsible for the preparation and filing of regulatory submissions, and identified the people reporting one and two levels under them. For the regulatory compliance portion we determined which group(s) was responsible for labeling and promotional compliance for drug products, medical equipment and/or the packaging/marketing/sales materials for such products. Within these groups, we identified all personnel from the leadership down to and including the auditors who were preparing and conducting clinical audits to ensure compliance with all FDA regulations and ICH guidelines for Good Clinical Practices (GCP).

  • Managers/Directors, Data Management - For this project we were asked by our client to identify individuals who were managing the data management groups at several biotech competitors. We researched the desired companies and determined which groups and locations contained data management activities for in-house studies and CRO studies. Then, the directors and managers of these groups were identified and provided to the client, who was able to yield the desired hires.


For healthcare providers and payers alike, one of the more recent trends in the industry has been consolidation via mergers and acquisitions. Deals involving major players have been growing in size, and have created a new tier of mega-companies. Companies undertake these deals for several reasons, and primary among these is gaining economies of scale. There is increased pressure to improve internal operating processes and overall business performance, reduce waste and hold down costs, while enhancing the quality of patient care. Added to this is rapidly increasing demand for healthcare services due to an aging population and new - but increasingly expensive - treatment therapies. Being able to find, hire and retain the right employees helps providers meet patient expectations and improve their overall health care experience.

Following is a small sampling of our many successful Healthcare industry projects:

  • Competitive Intelligence: Customer Claims Operations Organizations - Our client, a leading healthcare insurance provider, was seeking to benchmark their customer claims operations organization against those of three competitors. For this project we first identified the senior-most person at each company whose primary responsibility was oversight of customer claims operations for the U.S. Then the entire organization below each of these leaders was developed, down to and including the first-line managers within the call centers. The number of individuals reporting directly to each manager was determined, which allowed us to compile a total headcount figure for the entire U.S. claims operations organization at each of the three companies. Our client was able to study the reporting structure, regional distribution and overall size of these competitive organizations.

  • Nurses, Neonatal Intensive Care Facilities - A large local hospital was seeking to hire several nurses for their neonatal care unit. The desired individuals needed to possess specialized certifications such as CNS (clinical nurse specialist), BCLS (basic cardiac life support), NRP (neonatal resuscitation program), etc. For this effort we researched several California hospitals and medical centers and identified the appropriate nurses who were working in neonatal intensive care facilities. Our client received enough candidate flow from us that they were able to yield the hires they needed.

  • Director/VP, Network Development - A large healthcare insurance provider was seeking to hire new leadership for their network development organization. Specifically, we were asked to research several direct competitors and identify the senior people who were responsible for overseeing relations with managed care and other care-related facilities. We initially studied the requested companies to learn which groups were responsible for desired functions, such as developing relationships with new health care providers for their coverage programs, managing all contract administration with providers, enrolling and providing customized education for new medical offices and staff, maintaining & updating provider information such as address or tax identification changes, processing fee updates and coordinating credentialing of providers, and producing publications to educate doctors and other medical staff about insurance programs. Once these departments/groups were isolated, we identified the appropriate leaders and provided them to our client.