Shiva Noorchashm started Medica Communications sixteen years ago, creating the medical marketing firm from her track record in the pharmaceutical industry—on the service side and industry side launching different products and devices.
“We help with strategy development, doing anything and everything basically to help a company,” the CEO and founder explains. “I consider myself a risk taker. I feel with bigger risks come bigger rewards at the end of the day. And I like the challenge of encouraging clients to think differently. One of our biggest assets is our network of global medical, clinical, and regulatory cadre steeped in years of experience working in the different environments. This make us the experts we are in this niche.”
Today, the boutique firm collaborates with pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies, developing quality strategic initiatives and providing the necessary relationships with key global medical, clinical, and regulatory experts to provide feedback on their messaging, tactics and product positioning.
“When I was on the firm side, I worked for a large firm. I felt like the mindset was to get from A-Z step by step, and I wanted to find unique routes,” Noorchashm recalls. “That made me want to start my own thing, because I’m an outside-the-box thinker. We want to do things differently here, and clients love that, because it sets them apart, too.”
Experience taught her that medical thinks differently than clinical, which thinks differently than regulatory, which thinks differently than commercial. “As the outside party, we act as the cohesive element that unites everyone, helps align perspectives, ensures things work, and builds a successful strategy,” she offers. Additionally, Noorchashm continues, their seasoned experience in numerous therapeutic areas globally informs each product, allowing the organization to develop key strategies for differentiating their clients from the competition.
In high school, Noorchashm interned at AstraZeneca, a pharma company in Pennsylvania, eventually becoming involved in the research and development process. She started on the medical/clinical side, but later transitioned to regulatory, then commercial.
“I became really interested in the drug development, regulatory and product launch process,” she recounts. “I studied pre-med in college and thought about going to med school, but I didn’t, wanting to get into the business side of things, which is what brought me to pharma.”
After leaving pharma, Shiva Noorchashm transitioned to the service side and launched a wide variety of products and devices. This provided her greater insight into the field, a significant advantage she now leverages for her own business. Medica’s boutique platform allows for the personalization and dedication to clients’ needs, with innovation and AI top of mind.
“We have been working on innovations for years now and partnered with a pretty high-end developer out in Silicon Valley to develop technology; we built a team around tech,” Noorchashm explains. “We are doing more virtual clinical trials for clients and developing AI technology for patient care, healthcare professional, and patient education apps. With the way the world is moving so quickly in technology, that’s something a lot of our clients are hesitant about, but it’s something we really bring to the table and push the envelope with. There’s a lot of opportunity out there.”
The pandemic created some challenges, but Noorchashm notes that without knowing it, her team was already ready for it. “We work with world-renowned experts globally, so we already had a virtual platform setup that we had been using for years,” she explains. “With launching products and working on so many different therapeutic areas, we travelled a lot, so that had to stop, but the work became even more. We showed that we were prepared.”
She credits those who work for Medica with that, as she has fifty-two team members across the globe. “Our team is phenomenal,” Noorchashm enthuses. “We regularly consult with global medical experts and ex-FDA experts in different/various therapeutic areas. Few firms do. I think that says a lot about us, especially considering the reputation we cultivated over the years. It’s a huge achievement.”
Looking ahead, Shiva Noorchashm wants to remain a specialized boutique firm, rather than getting too large. “I want us to continue growing within by thinking ahead and being prepared for what the future outlook looks like in healthcare. I do see us becoming stronger and more scientifically and innovatively robust.”