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2023/2024  KAN-CBIOO1005U  Bio-Markets

English Title

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory (also offered as elective)
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 50
Study board
Study Board for MSc. in Business Administration and Bioentrepreneurship
Course coordinator
  • Markus Simeth - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation
  • Marketing
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 29-09-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Demonstrate understanding of central concepts and theoretical foundations of markets, marketing, and strategy, including their interdependencies
  • Ability to discuss how various concrete marketing instruments (e.g. product design, pricing, communication) can be used and combined to achieve commercially successful products
  • Identify and reflect upon specific characteristics of biotechnology-related markets and their implications for firm-level decision-making
  • Ability to conduct a market and commercialization analysis, which includes the adequate application of theoretical concepts, the collection and analysis of informative data, and the communication of results and their implications
Course prerequisites
This is a mandatory course for the MSc in Business Administration and Bioentrepreneurship.

To sign up send a 1-page motivational letter and a grade transcript to ily.stu@cbs.dk before the CBS registration deadline for elective courses. You may find the registration deadlines on my.cbs.dk (https:/​​​/​​​studentcbs.sharepoint.com/​​​graduate/​​​pages/​​​registration-for-electives.aspx). Please also remember to sign up through the online registration.
Bio Markets:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
Individual or group exam Individual oral exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 4-5
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
The written group report may not exceed 15 pages, including text, figures, and appendices but without the title page, the table of contents, and references.
Assignment type Report
Release of assignment An assigned subject is released in class
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If a student is ill during the regular oral exam, he/she will be able to re-use the project at the make-up exam. If a student is ill during the writing of the project and did not contribute to the project, the make-up exam can be written individually or in groups (provided that other students are taking the make-up/re-exam). If the student did not pass the regular exam or did not show up at the oral exam, he/she must make a new revised project/business plan (confer advice from the examiner) and hand it in on a new deadline specified by the secretariat.
Description of the exam procedure

The oral examination will cover central theories, concepts and content presented during the course. Insights provided by the external lecturers will be relevant for the examination, too. Exam questions may also refer to the content of the group report.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The aim of the course is to provide the students with a comprehensive understanding of biotechnology and pharmaceutical markets, along with actionable skills to address the challenges that are typical for firms and individuals operating in the sector. Students will learn how to differentiate products with similar mechanisms of action / functionalities and how to optimize the value of a product throughout its lifecycle. The course includes, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • Fundamental principles of biotechnology and pharmaceutical markets, and the role of different actors that operate within these markets
  • Central marketing theories, strategies and instruments that are relevant for biotechnology firms, including pricing and communication strategies
  • The interplay between the external environment and firm internal capabilities for achieving competitive advantage
  • Industry structure, value chains, and competition in bio-markets
  • New product development, product adoption and product-life-cycle management
  • Firm boundaries and the role of mergers & acquisitions
  • Marketing success metrics and methods of data collection
  • Requirements of regulation and strategies to master the regulatory pathway for new products
Description of the teaching methods
This course is lecture-based but incorporates selected case discussions, recent news articles, and project work. The lectures themselves will follow an interactive format, with students being strongly encouraged to actively participate and to share own viewpoints, experiences and considerations.

Lectures: The lectures will be used to introduce, elaborate on and supplement theories, to explain specific problem-solving approaches, frameworks and practical tools. The majority of lectures will be provided by CBS-internal staff. However, for certain topics, the specific expertise and knowledge from practitioners from the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry (e.g. Novozymes, Novo Nordisk) will be leveraged.

Discussions: Most lectures will also include case study discussions (e.g. Harvard Business Review Cases). These cases are intended to train students’ generic problem solving skills based on the reflection of a specific problem. The success of case discussions depends upon thorough preparation and active participation by each student.

Project: The (mini-) project allows for a direct application of the theories and concepts taught in this course. In the context of this project, the student teams will identify and analyze a relevant case, which can be a specific biotechnology-related product or company. Further information will be provided through a separate guidelines document that will be uploaded to CANVAS.

Online instructions: Regular classroom lectures might be combined with online sessions (pre-recorded videos and live sessions). Further information will be provided on Canvas before the start of the semester.

The content of the course and the applied teaching methods are developed in accordance with the Nordic-9 teaching framework.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback on the mini-project will be given to each student team in formalized 1-hour coaching sessions based on the submission of a standardized template. Moreover, additional intermediate feedback on the project will be provided based on student presentations. Feedback on students’ familiarity with the theoretical course contents will be given using quizzes in CANVAS and subsequent discussion of the quiz outcomes in class. Also the case discussions have an implicit feedback component since they require the correct application of concepts and theories to specific problem situations. Final feedback on the project will be given at the oral examination.
Student workload
lecture 42 hours
preparation (incl. project work) 164 hours
Expected literature
  • A framework for marketing management (2016), by Philip Kotler & Kevin L. Keller
  • Pharmaceutical marketing (2014), by Brent L. Rollins & Matthew Perri, ISBN 9781449697990
  • Pharmaceutical lifecycle management (2012). by Tony Ellery & Neal Hansen
  • Deloitte (2020): Global life sciences outlook


Additional literature will be announced in the course syllabus.


Last updated on 29-09-2023