Case Study: COPD Product Profile Optimization ahead of Phase III Trial


This study comprised a two-phase approach to identify interest and expected uptake of a new treatment in development for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The research was conducted across several key markets around the globe.


Our client was developing a novel compound (Product X) to treat COPD. Ahead of a Phase III clinical trial, the client wished to optimize the profile of their treatment to better position the drug’s clinical and commercial benefits.

The client’s specific research objectives were to:

  • Determine which elements of the drug’s profile would offer both clinical and commercial differentiation that can be explored more within the trial
  • Understand how, if at all, the product’s forecasted sales could be altered to take into account the value of their new clinical claims

In order to best meet these objectives, KJT Group recommended our client undertake a two phase global study among physicians across the United States, and select markets in Europe, Asia and South America.

The first phase was qualitative, in-person and telephone in-depth interviews (IDIs & TIDIs). The aim was to inform development of the quantitative research instrument, exploring which attributes of a COPD treatment drive prescribing.

The second phase was quantitative, comprised mainly of a conjoint exercise with the goal of determining preference shares for prescribing in different patient scenarios.


Analysis of the qualitative interviews resulted in a ranking of the key clinical endpoints that physicians use to determine the drug’s suitability for use. In addition, the qualitative output allowed selection of/refinement of the attributes and levels to be used in the quantitative survey.

The quantitative survey, based on a global sample of nearly 500 physicians, resulted in two key analytical findings:

  • Baseline preference share for prescribing to moderate-severe COPD patients suggests strong uptake for Product X across all countries.
  • Incremental increases in preference share will result from optimization of key clinical endpoints in each region.

The resulting story told our client there were regional differences between both adoption of Product X and its share potential. Three key markets in the US and EU showed greater potential with two markets in Asia showing less opportunity.

We provided our client with an illustration of expected share, based on two alternative scenarios as to how our client will design its clinical study and, eventually, share information about the product after launch.


Interested in learning more?