Value Creation in Open Innovation for Drug Discovery: An illustrative case of LEO Pharma

Kaya Plewnia

Student thesis: Master thesis


The following thesis presents a case of a Danish pharmaceutical company- LEO Pharma- and the marketing strategy in order to leverage a communication of newly introduced Open Innovation offering by the company on the market. Since working with science, knowledge trade and high tech requires the understanding of a common language, it is of high importance to communicate externally in an efficient way so to attract researchers and potential collaborations for business opportunities and moreover, to fill and progress the pharmaceutical pipeline. That said Open Innovation requires external communication and the translation between the science and the business, the tools and resources that will facilitate the co-creation of scientific discussion with the aim of commercial collaborations. Moreover, the key aspect in evaluating, investigating and testing the idea of an open innovation platform is to realize that the offering is targeting the participants from a scientific environment, and hence the significance of appropriate communication shall be put on pedestal. The best way to understand the communication patterns when approaching scientists is to engage with them in a direct contact since the participants play a role of opinion leaders and ergo the most suitable strategy may be made based on their responses. In order to achieve this, a qualitative study was carried out in which the researcher conducted interviews with scientists from different organizations. This facilitated the understanding and exploration of the factors that enable or inhibit marketing strategy when introducing a novel technology on the market. The findings show that the participants’ needs are in accordance to the customer segmentation of academia and industry, respectively. Hence, the communication strategy should include value propositions, which are directly linked to these segments. This will enhance the scientists’ perception of Open Innovation Platform, since they will be targeted in a unique way leading to the facilitation of this initiative’s awareness and ultimately attraction in the participation. Since LEO Pharma, as any other company in the pharmaceutical industry, struggles with so called lack in productivity in the lab, it can be boldly concluded that sharing its internal capabilities between external partners will strengthen its pipeline and will be a valuable asset for having a competitive advantage, in addition open innovation is essential in XXI century as sharing is caring!

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Bioentrepreneurship, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages88