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Michael Muller
Michael Müller

Managing Partner at Monacon Beteiligungs GmbH

Michael Müller founded Cepton Strategies, a company that in 2014 sold the Boston's firm CRA. German financial newspaper Capital has called his company the leading strategic consultancy in healthcare, ahead of McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group and Roland Berger. Müller has led numerous projects involving private equity companies, healthcare groups and investment funds and is an expert in corporate strategy with extensive experience in business development, R&D and M&A.

Lessons from the Forum of the BioRegion (Part 1): DIGITAL HEALTH

Vishal Gulati: "The availability of information has completely changed our relationship with healthcare: patients are more empowered"

Lessons from the Forum of the BioRegion (Part 2): MEDTECH

David Cassak: "Medtech needs to move from volume to value"

Lessons from the Forum of the BioRegion (Part 4): MODEL OF COLLABORATION

Susan W. Bannister: “The government can create the environment but should not guide”

Lessons from the Forum of the BioRegion (Part 5): MODEL OF COLLABORATION

Zayna Khayat: “Let the best problem-solvers solve the problem”

Michael Müller: “Just selling drugs is no longer enough; nowadays we have to provide diagnostic, patient monitoring and digital health solutions”


Lessons from the Forum of the BioRegion (Part 3): Biopharma


One of the main conclusions of the Forum of the BioRegion was the undeniable impact technology has on our relationship with healthcare. The biopharma, medtech and digital health sectors have a great deal to say in this regard, as they are the key sectors we must face. Michael Müller, a speaker at the Forum of the BioRegion and one of the keynote speakers on the current state of digital health, shares with us his inspiring point of view on the main trends and challenges in biopharma. Spoiler alert: the time for change has come.


The value chain in the pharma industry has changed. What have been the main changes? How do these changes affect their business models?

While in the past the pharmaceutical industry has undertaken most of the value-adding steps internally, today, most of those steps along the value chain are either outsourced or done by partnering with various other companies. Such partners include academia, biotech, technical and media companies, as well as manufacturing, research and salesforce-outsourcing providers.

Business models vary widely from shared intellectual property to sharing revenue among several partners. Also, the push strategy, aimed exclusively at selling pharmaceuticals, has shifted towards a pull strategy, which looks to generate demand for products among payers and patients.


Looking ahead 10-20 years from now, what changes initiated today will shape the future?

I strongly believe that personalized medicine (PM) will change the face of the industry. Personalized medicine will require a whole new process from design, to manufacturing and selling. But most importantly, personalized medicine will offer the chance for healing instead of treating symptoms.


One of the main trends is the convergence of sectors. The lines between pharma, biotech, medtech and digital health are blurred. Are we moving from M&As to strategic partnerships?

Yes, we are. And many of the most recent M&A deals have demonstrated this, such as Calico, a research and development biotech firm funded by Google and Arthur D. Levinson in 2013. 


Innovation for Big Pharma is no longer limited to drugs, but includes diagnostic, patient monitoring and digital health solutions. Where will the next big innovation in your sector come from?

Recent innovation from the pharmaceuticals industry –besides several new components (MoAs)– has come from the industry understanding that just selling drugs is no longer enough; nowadays we have to provide solutions. This is what drives the industry to include devices and mobile apps to better control compliance and ensure a better outcome.

The most important decision that a pharma or biotech company can make over the coming years will probably be to invest in mobile health.


R&D output is stagnating. Do pharmaceutical companies need to rethink their R&D strategy? Which ones have made the right decisions? 

Yes, companies have to understand that the time for change has come. Fortunately, many companies already know this. For example, we have recently seen impressive innovation strategies from Sanofi and Alnylam (to mention a very big one, on one hand, and a boutique biotech firm, on the other hand).


Related interviews:


Presentation of Michael Müller at the 2016 Forum of the BioRegion: