Meet the Evaluate Team: Alex Bour
Alex Bour leads Evaluate’s Competitive Intelligence consulting practice, working closely with clients to help them to understand the nuances of their competitive environment and helping them to craft effective strategies. When you don’t find him knee-deep in Evaluate data, or pondering the latest in gene and cell therapy, you might discover him in the kitchen with a raspberry mirror glaze…
- What do you think is going to have the biggest impact on the pharma industry in the next five years?
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in drug discovery has the potential to significantly increase the volume and efficiency of therapeutic and diagnostic development. It’s going to be really interesting to see how these technologies develop in the mid-term and the impact that it has on R&D efficiency and the speed of bringing new therapies to market.
- What’s the biggest challenge facing pharma and biotech companies at the moment?
Clinical trial diversity continues to be a major hurdle for pharma and biotech companies – specifically, challenges in translating and implementing the US FDA’s guidance and recommendations on clinical trial diversity, into a practical clinical trial strategy. Companies who succeed in this will have a real advantage in clearing regulatory hurdles and in ensuring their therapies reach the people who need them.
- Which areas of the industry are you most fascinated by? Why?
The biotech industry is particularly fascinating to me. The immense potential inherent to the use of emerging biologic interventions such as cell and gene therapy, and mRNA-based therapeutics is really exciting and I think we’ll continue to see a lot more innovations in the coming years.
- How did you end up working in this industry?
After a PhD in organic chemistry and with plans of developing my own ideas to transform patients’ lives in sub-Saharan Africa, I wanted to get a better understanding of the business side of the industry. Competitive Intelligence consulting was a way to get a firm education in pharma industry structure, strategy, and processes to point me in the right direction.
- What’s the best thing about your role?
Helping clients unearth insights that can transform their business and make a lasting impact. It’s hugely rewarding to be able to play a small part in helping companies to take life-saving therapies to market.
- What’s your favourite drink?
Old. Fashioned. No contest.
- Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
About five years ago, while on secondment to New York, I picked up baking as a hobby, and challenged myself to get better at it. I committed to baking a new cake for the office at least once every two weeks. I didn’t just want to make tasty treats, I challenged myself to prioritise more technically difficult bakes. To-date, my favourites have been the opera cake and the entremet. Fiendishly difficult, but very rewarding when it comes together.