Year after year our customer research has indicated that end users needed more information about the patent protection for the drugs they were analyzing with AdisInsight. They wanted to answer questions like when a generic version of a branded drug will be available, which countries are covered and not covered by patent protection, and what patent extension strategies are available to prolong market exclusivity. We studied the current user journeys of our users and found they almost always ended with an expert patent searcher or patent attorney searching one of the existing patent databases because these complex resources require special skill to use them correctly.
In 2017 we set out to enhance the patent information available in AdisInsight. We conceived of a simple and intuitive tool that would allow our users to discover patent information themselves in order to inform strategic decisions. This would translate into quicker answers and use fewer resources compared to their current approach involving patent attorneys directly. We had tried this many times before only to find the task of grouping the patents pertaining to a specific drug too difficult. This time our content development team identified and evaluated several potential partners who could provide drug-based patent information. Think BioTech rose to the top due to their ability to associate patents with the specific drugs they apply to. At the end of 2017 a partnership agreement was reached with Think BioTech (click here to read the press release) to supply AdisInsight with patent content for marketed drugs.
Once the agreement with Think BioTech was in place, stakeholders from product management, content development, IT&P, UX design, and IT developers came together to create the product vision for AdisInsight Patents, mock-up how patent information would be displayed to meet the needs of end users, and develop a plan to implement our MVP.
In March 2018 I went on the road with our lead UX designer, our business analyst, and one of my product manager for AdisInsight to conduct User Experience testing to validate the designs developed met customer needs. We conducted 13 end user interviews across pharma, biotech, and consulting. The results showed that our design placing an emphasis on displaying specific formulations of a drug missed the mark. In true agile form we rapidly arranged another stakeholder meeting to digest the UX findings and pivot our design.
The first iteration of the AdisInsight Patents module was made available to customers on August 31, 2018. It provided patent information for specific drugs organised in separate Drug Patent Profiles. Each Drug Patent Profile summarizes the key information from global patents and regional exclusivities protecting that specific drug and presents key information such as patent number, expiry date, claim type and country in easy to read tables allowing users to visualize the protection landscape globally. Subsequently enhancements were added to AdisInsight Patents to satisfy additional user needs. Adis Patent Detail Sheets were added to present key information about a specific patent such as title, abstract, inventors, assignee, application number, source, and claim details. This allowed users to drill down from the Drug Patent Profile to get more information about a specific patent protecting the drug they are investigating. Later link to the source document at the United States Patent and Trademark Office website or the World Intellectual Property Organization website were added to allow the user to click through to the source patent document.
The intuitive AdisInsight search interface makes identifying patent information easy for users. The new AdisInsight Patents module utilizes the same familiar search terms such as drug name, indication, mechanism of action, drug class, formulation, location and company used throughout all of the AdisInsight modules. These powerful search terms are enabled through manual indexing using controlled vocabularies and synonyms. This produces highly precise search results and minimal noise, especially when compared to free text or Google-like searching.
It has been a very interesting journey. One that ultimately led to a patent product that is proving valuable for our end users as they work to develop better drugs to treat disease. But this is just the start of the journey we will continue to add more content and more functionality to AdisInsight in the months to come.