UCB as an organization uses transformational leadership to motivate employees. The company’s stated mission is to improve access, affordability and wellbeing of patients around the globe. One commonly touted statistic is that 25% of all revenue goes directly into new research and development, significantly higher than many other large pharmaceutical or biotechnology firms. Many of the employees have echoed the sentiment that UCB is extraordinarily patient focused. When asked to contrast previous workplaces with UCB, nearly every single person I have talked to has emphasized the focus on the patient above all else being prioritized much more at UCB.
A first hand example of prioritizing patients without necessarily receiving compensation is in the osteoporosis space. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bone mass to deteriorate, to the point where they become frail and break easily. UCB developed a product called Evenity, which helps to rebuild bone mass in partnership with Amgen. UCB has control over the sale and distribution of Evenity internationally and Amgen handles sale and distribution in the United States. Each company receives the profit for their respective markets. Recently, members of the policy team have been meeting with members of the bone team to try and devise a way to prevent fractures and improve post-fracture care. The goal of the meetings has not been to market any UCB products. Rather, the goal is simply to find the best way to help the greatest number of patients.
Another example of transformational leadership guiding organizational decision making is the push towards inclusion of real-world evidence and decentralized clinical trials as a result of Covid-19. Decentralized trials allow for a larger and more diverse patient population to take part in life-changing therapies. However, they can be more costly than traditional clinical trials because a larger patient population is necessary compared to a more controlled clinical trial setting. UCB has been pushing for greater inclusion of real-world evidence in addition to decentralized trials as well. Real-world evidence can be very messy and time consuming to clean up to an appropriate standard. However, greater adoption of it leads to a broader number of patients being eligible for potentially life saving therapies.