How Medicine and Research Translates to Patients by Shree Patel "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs 24 October 2019 True Data, Product Development, ProductTank, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 384 Product Management 1.536

How Medicine and Research Translates to Patients by Shree Patel


How can scientists translate the exceptional work they do in research and creating medicine into better patient care? Shree Patel – Director of Clinical Operations at Achilles Therapeutics answers this in her talk at ProductTank London. Shree explains these key points in her talk:

  • Cell therapy
  • Personalized medicine
  • Product development in medicine

Watch the video to see Shree’s talk in full. Or read on for an overview of her key points.

Cell Therapy

Shree opens by explaining that she is not a product manager. She is a scientist and research who has worked for startups in the biotech industry all of her life. However, as it turns out, there are parallels between delivering medicine and product development. The purpose of cell therapy is to harness the immune system by reprogramming it to fight diseases such as cancer. This is done by taking a piece of the patient’s DNA, reprogram it in a lab and then reinjecting it into the patient.

Personalized Medicine

The traditional development pathway for medicine involves taking a product, making it into medicine, proving that it is safe by testing it on some patients and then ramping it up for mass production. In the case of personalized medicine such as cell therapy, how can this product be scaled to help millions of people?

Product Development in Medicine

Just as a product person must think about the end-game before they begin to do anything, so too does Shree in her work. We might be able to create a great product, but how can we go about selling it? The major costs associated with medicine aren’t in creating the product. The major costs center around everything else! In the case of cell therapy material needs to be taken out of a patient and then moved securely to the lab and then back to the patient. There are numerous compliance issues that need to be considered.

The key takeaways from her talk are that product development in medicine involves many different stages as well as the need to weigh the risks versus the benefits for the patient into consideration. The product people, in this case, must make sure that all of the data involved in the process is well controlled and that processes are as streamlined as possible to have success.