KOL Selection

We identify relevant KOLs across multiple therapy areas / fields of expertise and maintain a high-quality network of thought leaders from across the globe. The approach requires us to not only leverage our existing network of partners, but also continuously expand our global reach. We ascertain relative strengths and weaknesses of KOLs based on parameters, such as contribution to scientific literature, patent portfolio, experience in clinical trials, affiliations with companies / patient organizations, and participation in relevant activities in the community. We also screen and identify high priority subject matter experts (using a proprietary algorithm), who are most suited for a particular role, and establish connections between different stakeholders in an industry / sector.

Case Study: CAR-T Immunotherapies

Project Background


  • The client is a clinical stage pharma company based in California and is developing cellular immunotherapies against multiple tumors. It has a CAR-T therapy under clinical investigation and several other cell based therapies in preclinical stages.
  • The client has received research grants from government authorities to carry out development of cancer therapies. In addition, it has collaborated with academic institutes for research and development of cell based therapies.
  • The client, looking to expand its advisory board and develop a network of experts, requested us to recommend a pool of key opinion leaders (KOLs) and help them partner with right KOLs for their immediate needs.


  • To build a database of KOLs along with specific information related to their contribution in this area. This included principal investigators, conference speakers, existing board members and corresponding authors of studies done in the last ten years.
  • To ascertain relative strengths and weaknesses of KOLs based on predefined parameters such as contribution in scientific literature, clinical trials experience, affiliations with companies, patient organizations and relevant activeness in the community.
  • To identify and recommend leading KOLs and create detailed profiles of these experts highlighting specific achievements and domain expertise.


Project Approach


Project Insights


Project Outcome


  • Each shortlisted KOL was scored based on the parameters and scoring system developed along with the client. The deliverables included a 2x2 matrix to segregate the KOLs across relative strength and activeness. KOLs were also represented on a world map making it easier to identify their location. In addition, we provided detailed profiles of top 25 KOLs.
  • Backup Excel database of over 200 KOLs that were covered during the study. The database provided details on the following parameters: Number of Affiliations, Speaking Engagements, LinkedIn Connections, Advisory Role in Companies, Number of Publications on PubMed, Patents, Citations and Clinical Trials.


  • Roots Analysis, in close coordination with the client, used the findings of the study to approach relevant KOLs to support the client’s R&D efforts. The detailed analysis highlighted specific experts who were most suited to act as principal investigators and provide ongoing guidance to drive the client’s CAR-T programs.
  • With limited management bandwidth, the client could identify linkages / dependencies between various ongoing initiatives and how to use internal and external KOL resources optimally.
  • The study resulted in strong partnerships between the client and subject matter experts instilling greater confidence in the client’s leadership team on how to meet the upcoming challenges.