A new case study from the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology: Market Selection for MyoTecSci
- Case studies
In this case study, John M. York (University of California, San Diego), Vineet Pradhan, Polly Luo and Michael Toscani (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey) describe how a biotechnology university spinoff decides where to focus using the Market Opportunity Navigator and ask students to assess this decision and provide further recommendations.
MyoTecSci (MTS) is a South Korean biomedical startup founded by Hyeon Soo Kim, a professor at the Korea University College of Medicine. The company is in the pre-clinical stage and specializes in the development of treatment for muscle-related diseases.
MTS developed three novel compounds that protect from muscular wasting, which can be applied to treat five different indications in sarcopenia (i.e., age-related muscle wasting) and sarcopenic-like conditions.
Due to their limited resources, Dr. Kim and his management team must narrow down their set of market opportunities and select a market domain where their technologies fit best. Over four months, the firm worked through the Market Opportunity Navigator to prioritize its product development and potential markets. It characterized opportunities as ones to pursue now, keep open, and place in storage.
The purpose of the case is to facilitate discussions surrounding decisions that executives must make when a venture has many market opportunities and limited resources.
The case is based on work that was done at the UCSD Global Entrepreneurship Accelerator, associated with the Institute for the Global Entrepreneur (Jacobs School of Engineering, Rady School of Management), and at the Rutgers Institute for Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowships (Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy).
MTS’s team has been prolific in identifying three unique asset classes across the spectrum of muscle health: non-natural amino acid derivates, myokines, and natural product compounds. All three assets are patented technologies.
The company explored five different market opportunities where these assets can bring unique value: cancer cachexia, use in the elderly population, an adjunct to exercise to help build muscle, and muscle waster with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
The South Korean government selected MTS to continue in the country’s global life sciences accelerator program. Such a decision led to the need to review the company’s current state and strategic direction – as described in the case.
In the following video, Dr Kim provides a brief overview on the unique value proposition of MTS:
What’s in the case
The case begins with an overview of the sarcopenia market, the company’s background and assets, and the South Korean pharmaceutical market. Next, it examines the market opportunities considered and introduces the Market Opportunity Navigator, covering its academic grounding and practical steps. The case then discusses MTS’s process in using the Navigator, resultant decision, and prioritization of their market opportunities. Finally, the discussion closes with the consulting challenge to address and questions to consider when evaluating MTS and its use of the Market Opportunity Navigator to prioritize its choices to move forward.
In this case, students are part of a consulting team evaluating MTS’s analysis and choices. This revision is required since MTS is about to embark on the next phase of its entrepreneurial journey following an opportunity presented to them by the South Korean government.
The students will need to evaluate the current situation and decision, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of MTS’s choice, suggest risks/mitigations, and offer a next step recommendation to enhance this venture’s prospect of achieving a positive commercial endpoint.
How to get the full case study
This case study was published in the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology (Volume 27, issue 1). You can download the full case (USD 25) at: https://doi.org/10.5912/jcb1010.