Cooperation at eye level
First steps of a cooperation between Pfizer and a startup
The Pfizer Healthcare Hub's commitment to the innovation ecosystem is paying off: With Visual Abstracts and Goodly Innovations, the Pfizer Healthcare Hub has scouted two innovators whose solutions are real game changers: On the one hand for science communication and on the other hand for process optimization. Both companies came into contact with the Pfizer Healthcare Hub through 5-HT's Innovators Club in November 2022 and a few months later used an innovation event hosted by the Pfizer Healthcare Hub and partners to present their solution to interested Pfizer employees as well as a trinational audience. The two startups are currently in talks with different therapeutic areas about possible collaborations.
Visual Abstract sets new benchmarks for science communication
Visual Abstract, a young startup from the Mannheim innovation ecosystem, has set itself the goal of fundamentally changing science communication: The company creates visual summaries and high-quality metadata from scientific publications at the push of a button. This makes medical research results accessible not only to scientists, but also to many other stakeholders.
The background: With more than 35 million medical research publications, medical knowledge has become unmanageable. Every year, more than a million new medical research publications are added. Medical researchers not only need to find relevant publications on which to build their own research, but also communicate their own research findings in order to advance society's medical care.
After the first meeting at the 5-HT Innovators Club in November 2022, Peter Neske, Innovation Lead from the Healthcare Hub Team Freiburg, identified Visual Abstract's solution as an exciting, possible "match" for a corporate company with many digital interactions such as Pfizer Germany. As a result, several Pfizer therapeutic areas expressed interest in working with the startup: Medical, Omnichannel, Sales, Digital and Patient Advocacy.
Currently, Pfizer and Visual Abstract are discussing pilot projects. Isabella Hörz, Senior Digital Marketing Manager Internal Medicine, sees Visual Abstract's solution in different areas of application at Pfizer:
"For me as a marketer, it's fascinating how quickly complex data can be brought into an appealing form with visualizations and thus be captured much more easily. For Pfizer, I see great potential both internally for training and externally in the area of communication."
Saribek Karapetyan, CEO of Visual Abstract, sees a cooperation with Pfizer as an opportunity to further develop the product in dialogue with an important target group:
"The opportunity to integrate Pfizer's requirements and expertise is a win-win situation for both sides. With a partner like Pfizer, we would have a unique opportunity to fundamentally change how medical research is communicated and consumed."
Process guidance with Augmented Reality: Goodly Innovations
Goodly Innovations has developed a system for the digitalization, guidance and documentation of manual processes in the pharmaceutical industry, which is used in manufacturing, packaging or laboratories. With the help of smart devices and augmented reality, user teams are guided through a wide variety of processes, making them faster and less error-prone. Each employee selects the preferred end device as the interface to the software – this increases acceptance and productivity.
This contact also arose from the 5-HT network: In November 2022, Robert Hoffmeister, CTO of Goodly Innovations, presented the solution at the second edition of the 5-HT Innovators Club. Peter Neske saw great potential for Pfizer in the system:
"As a pioneer in the field of lean manufacturing, Pfizer is driving forward not only digitalization and Industry 4.0 but also the use of augmented reality. For a company with one of the world's most modern production facilities in the pharmaceutical industry, the possible cooperation with Goodly Innovations is a right – and important – step."
"Depending on the area of application, we can speed up manual processes by about 25-45%. In areas where it is more a matter of "right first time", we can massively reduce the potential for errors. Other areas of application include the onboarding of new employees or "on-the-job training", says Robert Hoffmeister.
In addition to the high innovation potential, Goodly Innovations gained plus points at Pfizer due to its special expertise in the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry:
"We are striving for cooperation with startups whose products are marketable and who ideally also have GMP experience," says Peter Neske.
Goodly Innovations is familiar with the typical regulations in the GMP environment and has launched a validated product that has been specially developed for the needs of the regulated segment. Goodly Innovations and Pfizer are currently in talks on where and how a proof of concept can be carried out. Robert Hoffmeister emphasizes that this is about cooperation at eye level, from which not only Pfizer, but also Goodly Innovations benefits:
"We do not see ourselves as a supplier, but as a partner who sees an opportunity in cooperation with Pfizer to incorporate the specific needs of the pharmaceutical industry into our validated product development."
We at the Pfizer Healthcare Hub are looking forward to the cooperation with the two startups!