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International business strategy for proven tumour treatment technology


Project description


Azanta is a specialty pharmaceutics company operating in the Nordic countries and having a pipeline of two late stage products. Our mission is to make medicines available to patients because life matters. This mission is reflected in our focus areas where we aim to make medicines and health products available to prevent treat or alleviate debilitating diseases and symptoms in order to improve peoples lives.

Our strategy and passion is to listen to the voice of our customers; to be market driven. Azanta’s lead product in the pipeline is a drug that enhances the effect of radiotherapy in hypoxic tumors. It is currently being investigated in a phase III program that is conducted through the European Cancer Organization (EORTC) with 640 patients that have cancer in the head and neck areas. 

The study is investigating a “companion diagnostic” which is a biomarker/a prognostic tool developed to pre-select the patients with hypoxic tumors that are believed to respond to treatment. The test is currently run by the University Hospital in Aarhus (AUH) who serves as a “Central Laboratory” for the clinical centers all over the world who recruit patients into the trial. At the time when the drug and companion diagnostic are approved and commercialized the companion diagnostic test can no longer be conducted in the University setting. The test must then be available from a commercial laboratory.

Currently the valuation of the program is made on the drug alone and not the companion diagnostic. Azanta has an exclusive license with Aarhus University Hospital (AUH) to commercialize the companion diagnostic. 30% of the income from selling the test will go back to licenser. Commercialization of the companion diagnostic should be profitable in itself.    

Azanta expects to get a commercial partner 1-2 years before commercialization – estimated to be in 2018. Despite that negotiations are already ongoing with several partners. The companion diagnostic test is so far the dark horse that potentially provides an economical upside; the drug is the primary value driver at this point. 


Our Challenge: Figuring out the optimal business model for commercializing the test. 

Your Challenge: Generating an international strategy for commercializing the companion diagnostic.

Questions to be addressed: 

  • What is the economical incentive to commercialize the test and who should do it- the Company (Azanta) a partner (PartCo) an existing laboratory newly established laboratory the inventors or others?
  • What would be the right timing to establish the test commercially?
  • What would be the best location for a laboratory to address all EU customers and does it matter where? 

Potential analysis points:

  • a NPV /discounted cash flow calculation based on establishment cost head counts facility expenses and expected sales (price per test)
  • Market Analysis on what would be a robust price per test – potential for reimbursement etc. 
  • Benchmark analysis to other available commercial tests similar to this one.
  • Interviews with established benchmark laboratories potential partners the AUH laboratory the Equity fund behind Azanta etc.  


We expect results that could assist us in choosing the right approach for commercializing the Companion Diagnostics in Europe. The results of YOUR research will give us a clear strategic direction. Consequently we expect you to attend and be a part of the strategic meetings in our company. Regarding business and technology you will get full support from the CEO board of directors and Venture Capitalists who are the key stakeholders in Azanta. You should have a background within Business Management International Business Entrepreneurship or similar alternative. We are looking for a student to start ASAP.