Target Product Profiles: Revolutionize Drug Development for Value-Driven Breakthroughs

September 7, 2023


The drug development industry acknowledges the need for significant changes to enhance productivity. With the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) advocating communication with pharmaceutical manufacturers through a Target Product Profile (TPP), it's an ideal time to reexamine the TPP's role in the drug development process. TPPs support a holistic, market-oriented approach to drug development, adding value to new therapies. This article demonstrates how a comprehensive TPP, managed by a preclinical CRO like Radyus Research, can combine market-led strategies with regulatory approval to streamline pharmaceutical development and recoup R&D costs.


Developing drugs is expensive: A comprehensive TPP is the solution.

Drug discovery is a high-risk, high-reward sector. Developing and gaining regulatory approval for a new drug now costs billions of dollars on average. This financial hurdle hampers novel therapy development, emphasizing the need for efficiency in preclinical and clinical stages. Regulatory approval based solely on clinical indicators isn't a guarantee of market success. To avoid failing post-approval, companies must focus on both regulatory approval and marketplace success. The challenge is to integrate patient needs and evolving healthcare trends early on, thereby streamlining pharmaceutical product development while maintaining a focus on the next developmental stage-gate. Target Product Profiles (TPPs) address this gap by guiding preclinical and clinical strategies, anticipating future unmet needs, and fostering a market-oriented drug development approach.

TPPs - What are they?

TPPs start with the end goal in mind, offering a roadmap for preclinical and clinical strategies to maximize a product's commercial potential in a future healthcare landscape. A TPP should encompass product understanding in the context of regulatory approval and market demand. Prioritizing market focus increases viable products and the chances of recouping the substantial initial R&D costs. Ideally, a TPP guides new therapies within future treatment paradigms, aligning valuation, investment, and market insights to shape early development plans.

The TPP should be central to pharmaceutical product development. It highlights a product's uniqueness compared to competitors in future treatment settings. It's a pivotal tool to determine asset value, making capital decisions and guiding development alongside market needs. TPPs, combined with Target Labels and Clinical Development Plans, steer products through each development stage (Fig. 1).

Figure 1:  The TPP is at the fulcrum between the Target Label and the Clinical Development Plan

TPPs serve as benchmarks for a product's profile and commercial success. They set parameters for each aspect of a new molecular entity (NME) in relation to standard care or competitor profiles. This is accomplished by setting minimal and optimal parameters for each dimension of the NME in relation to the current or future anticipated standard of care or competitor profile (Fig. 2). To be strategically effective, TPPs must remain fixed, serving as a reference point for value-added contributions to therapeutic paradigms.

Figure 2:  The TPP incorporates specific acceptable profile elements versus a competitor profile / standard of care

Why are TPPs necessary?

Drug discovery and development are increasingly risky, time-consuming, and expensive. Starting with a guiding document for preclinical and clinical strategies, like the TPP, maximizes a new therapy's commercial prospects. TPPs:

  1. Foster discussions between sponsors and regulators at each stage, even pre-IND.
  2. Enhance internal communication by summarizing development plans and setting the program's vision.
  3. Provide market insights for valuation, making it accessible to potential investors.

The TPP facilitates developmental discussions and investment decisions while considering market needs. Consequently, for any start-up preclinical organization, the TPP is the pre-eminent document that should be assembled early in the development process since it will guide the preclinical path to IND as well as forms a key communication tool enabling successful outcomes with regulators and potential investors (Fig. 3).  

Figure 3:  The TPP is the imperative guide for any early development program

Radyus Research's Role in TPP Development

Preclinical CROs, such as Radyus Research, bridge innovation and commercialization by integrating scientific rationale, clinical pathways, and commercial valuation. Incorporating these aspects into a comprehensive TPP helps biotech companies, venture capital funds, and academic spinouts communicate their value proposition to stakeholders. Radyus Research aims to translate innovation into practical application, assisting in TPP definition, evaluation, and utilization. The resultant streamlined developmental path offers meaningful preclinical data for attracting venture capital investments, bridging disciplines and driving scientific innovation.