CHIP Master’s degree students Sanju Rajan and Shilpa Sundar, along with 4 other students from universities across the US, were part of a team that won the 2023 Penn Healthcare Consulting Case Competition. The
Penn Healthcare Case Competition is a virtual event organized by Penn Biotech Group (PBG) and PennHealthX, two cross-disciplinary graduate and professional degree student organizations at the University of Pennsylvania for those interested in management/strategy consulting, venture capital in life sciences, biotech, and pharmaceutical industries. According to their website, their mission is to "highlight the talents and problem-solving strengths of students from top-tier graduate and professional degree programs, along with postdoctoral fellows, while also providing a platform for them to connect with other outstanding participants and highly accomplished judges from top-tier firms". The winning CHIP team, dubbed the “Flu Fighters”, worked to solve a real world healthcare problem centered around Leveraging AI and ML for a small biotech company call Amicus Therapeutics. The company wanted to understand how to best leverage AI and ML to support its growth and value. Some key business questions that the team had to answer included:
- Who are their immediate competitors?
- What are their immediate needs?
- What are the strategic recommendations and next steps going forward?
- What should the budget look like?
- What are the risks and challenges that they would face?
- What are the internal capabilities that are required to support this change?
Shilpa SundarIn order to address these questions, the team created a benchmarking report outlining how pharma companies are deploying and partnering with AI/ML companies to support late-stage development and commercial growth including details on investments, partnerships, and structure of deals. They developed a short- and long-term strategy for Amicus with recommendations for implementation of initiatives tailored around the budget. They also outlined potential risks and barriers that should be considered and compiled a comprehensive internal capabilities report required to support the initiatives. Their strategic planning and solutions led to their first prize award. The team members commented that "This achievement has not only added a significant milestone to our academic and professional journeys but also reinforced our passion for leveraging technology to make a positive impact in healthcare."