60 seconds with Stuart Hurst, Executive Advisor (Launch Excellence)

Q: Tell us about you

A: I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry for thirty-five years, initially for “big pharma” and more recently for SMEs with a focus on rare disease. I have had a variety of positions but more recently have focussed on public affairs and market access, within both European and global roles.

Since the start of 2020, I have been working as an independent consultant supporting biotech companies looking to commercialise medicines for rare diseases internationally, with their commercial strategy & sequencing, global market access capacity and competency development and market access due diligence. I also work alongside an executive search company supporting biotech’s with talent acquisition.

Outside of work, I’m married to Pat. Our children have grown up and left home and been replaced by two Jack Russells. When not walking them, I play golf and try my best to keep fit.


Q: What is your role and Lightning Health?

A: My role is to support the strategic thinking at Lightning Health with regard to the launch of assets into Europe. My focus is on the small to medium organisations that need help in shaping their European launch strategy, to ensure they successfully navigate a complex pricing and reimbursement landscape.


Q: What do you see are the challenges for US-based Biotech companies launching in the European market?

A: Understanding the differences between the US healthcare system and the multitude of different systems in Europe. Each country has its own entry requirements which require expertise at a local level. A fundamental question is whether to go it alone or seek a partner with experience in Europe.

There are pros and cons for both and the decision should be based on an overall corporate strategy. If the company does decide to go it alone, there has to be sufficient investment to establish an infrastructure of both in-house and external expertise to support a successful launch.


Article published 12 May 2020.

My focus is on SMEs that need help shaping their European launch strategy