DK Pierce: Nature Nurtures Company’s Growth

Posted: Updated:
DK Pierce's office is in Zionsville at Creekside Corporate Park, which is designed to blur the line between the office and the great outdoors. DK Pierce's office is in Zionsville at Creekside Corporate Park, which is designed to blur the line between the office and the great outdoors.

A firepit crackles, dogs sniff out employees with treats and woodland trails beckon rejuvenating breaks; this is the idyllic workspace that Denise Pierce envisioned and is executing for her 20 employees as they tackle some of the toughest challenges in the demanding world of drug development. Zionsville-based consulting company DK Pierce has guided the launch of 20 biopharmaceuticals in 18 years and is seeing sharp growth in the increasingly complex industry. It could be that Fido, firepits and fresh air simultaneously inspire grit and ease the grind.

A certified Women’s Business Enterprise, DK Pierce expects revenue in 2018 to double numbers it posted just a few years ago. The company outpaced its 2017 revenue before the first quarter of 2018 ended. After launching the company in 2000 as a solo operation, Pierce says she’s built a team with deep expertise in the world of healthcare access.

“By ‘access’ we mean, can the patient be identified as a great candidate for the drug, and will insurance cover and compensate for that [drug]?” says Pierce. “Oncology and rare disease [drugs] tend to fall through the cracks, because they’re, conventionally, so much more expensive than everything else.”

Pierce says the firm has established itself as “a go-to company” for oncology, which accounts for the vast majority of its business, but its work in rare diseases has grown in recent years. The company has guided the launch of a dozen biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics in the last five years.

Bucking the trend, DK Pierce doubled in size during the recession and is now seeing an “almost straight up trajectory,” says Pierce. She believes the increasingly dynamic and complex nature of treatments is driving demand for her company to identify where products fit in.

“There’s more than 800 products in the development pipelines for oncology alone, and the second factor [increasing business] is the complexity of [treatments],” says Pierce. “One of the areas we’ve worked in is the new CAR T-cell therapy, which has been creating such precedence, not only based on its cost, but how a patient would access the therapy. [CAR T] is changing up the market; it’s a one-time treatment, but it’s extremely expensive.” 

Similarly, demand for consulting services for rare diseases is “skyrocketing,” says Pierce; the company is currently working on three rare disease products. The firm often partners with young companies and defines its “sweet spot” as the two years prior to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.

“I hate to use the over-utilized word ‘pivot,’ but that’s what we do every day,” says Pierce. “We’ll get a call from a company that says, ‘Here’s our dilemma, can you help us figure it out?’ And sometimes we say, ‘Wow, this is new to us. But yes, we can help you figure it out.’”

She says DK Pierce responds by making sure it has the right expertise on board—and employee attraction is likely not difficult. The company recently built its office in Creekside Corporate Park, a 66-acre development in Zionsville designed to blur the line between the office and the great outdoors.

Pierce gained deep knowledge of the biopharmaceutical industry working 17 years for corporate giants, but the bland office setting was a hard pill to swallow for the nature-lover, who grew up near the Adirondack Mountains. She describes Zionsville as an under-appreciated “quiet gem” for corporate centers.

“Three years ago, I rode in a Humvee into what was then virgin land and now the corporate park. It was all trees, and I said, ‘This is where I want my building. This is what I want to look at,’” says Pierce. “Creating that dream over the last several years has connected my employees. Almost every day, they’ll go out and walk trails, sit outside, enjoy the firepit and great outside workspace. It makes them more enjoy what they do every day.”

Pooches are another perk at the company, which the Indiana Chamber of Commerce named on its list of Best Places to Work in 2017 and 2018. Pierce says welcoming employees’ dogs in the office relaxes them and visiting clients, adds humor and ensures their humans take needed breaks.

DK Pierce says, for the first time, it’s working with several European companies entering the U.S. market. The company is also launching a new phase of “methodical, smart growth” and adding employees who widen the company’s expertise—each task fueled by the unique culture that embraces tails and trails.

Pierce says DK Pierce is helping untangle reimbursement issues for three rare disease drugs.
Pierce hopes to “blaze the trail” and bring recognition to Zionsville as an ideal corporate environment.
Pierce says the company helps its clients navigate where and how a patient will be able to access a drug.
  • Perspectives

    • Indiana's Regrettable Struggle to Pass Hate Crime Legislation

      It shouldn’t be this hard. The Senate’s Public Policy Committee voted 9-1 in favor of SB-12 this week, a bill that would have codified (as written) hate crime bias to include protections for race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, and age. SB-12 then made its way to the full Senate. Preceded by a lengthy deliberation by the Senate’s Republican caucus, the Senate voted 33-16 in favor of a watered-down...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Scotty McCreery will perform at Elkhart’s Lerner Theater on Idea Week’s Elkhart Day.

      Country Singer Joins Idea Week Line Up

      The University of Notre Dame has announced a new act joining this year's Idea Week innovation festival. The award-winning country singer got his start by winning “American Idol” in 2011. 

    • Picture Courtesy: Ratio Architects

      Hilton Bringing New Luxury Hotel Brand to Indy

      Hilton Hotels and Resorts (NYSE: HLT) has chosen Indianapolis as one of three markets where it will roll out its new luxury Signia Hilton brand. The hospitality company says Signia will target meeting professionals and business travelers hosting and attending large events. The 800-room Signia will be the larger of the two towers planned for the Pan Am Plaza site as part of a $120 million Indiana Convention Center expansion. Visit Indy Senior Vice President Chris Gahl expects...

    • Indiana's Regrettable Struggle to Pass Hate Crime Legislation

      It shouldn’t be this hard. The Senate’s Public Policy Committee voted 9-1 in favor of SB-12 this week, a bill that would have codified (as written) hate crime bias to include protections for race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, and age. SB-12 then made its way to the full Senate. Preceded by a lengthy deliberation by the Senate’s Republican caucus, the Senate voted 33-16 in favor of a watered-down...

    • New Leader Aims to Expose International School's Assets

      The new head of school at the International School of Indiana says she wants to build on 25 years of growth. Elizabeth Head, who became the school’s first female leader last month, says the school’s reputation for contributing to the workforce and attracting talent from around the world excited her about the job. She says the ISI is the only school of its kind not just in Indiana, but throughout the Midwest. In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick...

    • Indiana is one of five states without a specific hate crimes law.

      Senate Passes Amended Hate Crimes Bill

      The Indiana Senate has passed a hate crimes bill, which includes a controversial amendment approved Wednesday in committee. The bill, which no longer includes a list of targeted groups, was approved by a vote of 39-10. The bill now includes a line stating criminal sentences can be lengthened for reasons "including bias."