Meet the Evaluate Team: Cem Baydar

Evaluate may be a business founded on great data and insights, but it’s the people that make the magic happen. In this new blog series, we’ll introduce the people behind the numbers – sharing their views and visions of the pharma market, how their role at Evaluate helps clients succeed, and their deepest darkest secrets….well, sort of.

Our first interviewee is Dr. Cem Baydar, Chief Consulting Officer who works closely with companies around the world, from big pharma to small biotechs and consulting firms

What do you think is going to have the biggest impact on the pharma industry in the next five years?
I think we’ll see a big shift in the way the industry approaches the optimisation of clinical trials, moving towards a more digital approach. There are so many tools appearing now that could help better identify trials patients and streamline the whole process. Algorithms that harness secondary-level patient data, such as genomics, are set to have a massive impact. 

What do you think is the most common mistake that pharma companies make?
I think that relying on past success and assuming that using the same approach will work in the future is a big danger for many companies. The old caveat from financial services that “past performance is not a guarantee of future results” is one that every pharma business should heed. Businesses need to take a more proactive approach to test and adapt to new technologies and approaches such as adaptive and de-centralised clinical trials, using AI in drug discovery and new commercial approaches to deal making to stay ahead of the curve.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give a biotech CEO?
Put partnership at the heart of your commercial strategy. Today’s interconnected world relies more on an ecosystem rather than individual supernovas and you need to build a network to succeed. 

Which areas of the industry are you most fascinated by? Why?
I’d have to say biotech. There is so much innovation going on in that sector of the market. Covid was a great example of how biotech companies can be agile, moving fast to react to problems that need to be solved. 

How did you end up working in this industry?
I started my career as a strategy consultant many years ago and around 10 years ago I was approached by a leading information provider in life sciences who asked me to set up a strategy consulting business in emerging markets. I had limited life sciences experience at the time, but I was delighted to accept because it was a great opportunity to bring my skills in solving business problems to a fascinating industry. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the best in the market all over the world. I’ve never looked back!

What really irritates you?
Seeing a challenge and finding no one is doing anything to try to address it. Finding creative ways to overcomes challenges is what my career is based on so the idea of leaving a challenge languishing just drives me nuts!

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself
I’m educated as an engineer. In fact I have several degrees and a Ph.D in Engineering and have spent a significant amount of time in applied research on AI…yet I haven’t done anything related to engineering in my whole career!

Go on then, give us your pitch. What’s your vision for Evaluate’s Consulting & Analytics team? 
We envision our Consulting & Analytics team growing three-fold in the next two years by expanding into other areas such as global market access consulting, M&A and transaction advisory, tech-enabled services and by applying data science into our projects more often. Given the level of expertise and the skillsets in our team and the strong demand coming to us globally, it is just a matter of time to meet this ambition.

Finally, a big one. What’s your favourite drink?
A bottle of good red wine could solve most of the problems in the world. If that’s not available, I consider a good single malt to be a great alternative.

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