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AI tools for life science marketing : A review

A review: Generative AI content tools for life sciences and biotech marketing

In this article, I review some of the generative AI tools, and their application in marketing for the life science and biotechnology sector.



In the wake of a recent upsurge in AI powered generative content tools, I took a deep dive into a selection of them, from a life science marketing perspective. Many have been launched with the promise of increasing productivity, creating ‘humanised’ technical content to evade AI detectors, and save time on content creation. These class of tools, including ChatGPT (GPT standing for Generative Pre-trained Transformer), created by Open.AI, work by integrating information and data from generically available web sources as a predictive model.

So how well do they actually fair for creating written content for the biological and biomedical domain? Do they grasp novel life sciences applications, innovations and technologies as they emerge? This is an especially pertinent consideration for marketers in the life sciences and biotechnology sector, when content requires scientific credibility. Furthermore, the key to success is to differentiate your innovation against the competition, which requires more technical considerations and nuance than other sectors – like retail for example.

AI tools for life science marketing

ChatGPT (Open AI tool) – for life science content marketing

The free version of ChatGPT, (GPT version 3.5 – you’ll need a subscription for 4.0), can rapidly create predictive text responses to questions you pose, or content you ask it to create. In my experience, this can be helpful when researching life science applications to gain a quick overview of markets, and potential users or B2B customers for a new innovation or platform. I’ve found this most useful for early stage market research and analysis. For example, if you’re completely new to an application, it can provide a basic overview of who the users are, which you can then build upon. On occasion, this can highlight some customer areas, or use cases that you haven’t considered, even if you’re a little more familiar to a field. This all needs further in-depth verification of course, but is a good starting point for background and early stage fact finding.

For example, when I asked ChatGPT – ‘Who uses X platform?” — (the latter was a predictive software platform for modelling chemical structures and biologics, that I had good knowledge of), ChatGPT generated a good overview of customer cohorts and market applications – including some lesser known ones, that stacked up against my understanding. However, it should be of note, this was not something I would present to a third party. It would require integrating information from further online searches, market reports and citations.

In terms of technical content marketing for the life sciences — ChatGPT swiftly creates marketing literature, if you provide it with a company and product. To experiment, I used it to generate a comparative example for content marketing I had already written. The latter was literature for a biotechnology company I consult for, whose key products are a series of induced pluripotent stem cell lines (known as iPSC’s for short).

In this case, whilst the overall structure and sections for a leaflet were there, the generated content would need significant editing to be on par with what I’d created. In fact, extensive re-writing would be required prior to it being deemed fit to put before an individual with any sort of specialist scientific training in that field.
Worryingly, the text ChatGPT generated completely missed the key product term (iPSC), even though it is mentioned multiple times on the company website, and all existing public literature. This is a major oversight, given this is the terminology the B2B customer, most likely a researcher in Pharma or Biotech, would be searching for.

Furthermore, a major drawback for me was that the language had a surplus of exaggerated adjectives, in sequential sentences. Whilst they do have a valid use in context, they were in a quantity that we as an agency simply would not use when marketing to a life sciences B2B audience, (e.g groundbreaking, unprecedented, revolutionary, revolutionize, remarkable, unparalleled, harnessing power). There was no qualification of claims or citations included. There were a number of instances in the text when the context was missed too.

More generally, on a positive point, the grammar used was near perfect, however I did spot a couple of mistakes. There were also a few turns of phrase used that you would expect when browsing a webpage, not reading a piece of literature (e.g ‘Welcome to *company name*’ as an opening sentence).

My overall conclusion is – ChatGPT can serve as an adequate starting point in terms of layout for content literature for life sciences marketing, the speed is astonishing, grammar is good, but it will need extensive editing and re-writing for a life sciences audience. Scientific customers are used to a subtler, drier form of language, that derives from the style used in peer review papers, and may be adverse to this style of content writing.
Finally, since GPT models work by integrating data sources, in effect taking an average, this isn’t great for competitor differentiation.


ChatGPT for PPC content for the life sciences (Pay per click advertising content)

One application that is particularly useful for ChatGPT is the ability to rearrange and condense short text pieces you enter within specified character counts. This is applicable for PPC ads for the life sciences on LinkedIn, and Google search ads, for example. Here, specific character counts are required or deemed optimal for ad headlines, introductions descriptions, headlines. Furthermore, some PPC ad fields allow for several variants to be entered, or alternatively may be required if you’re running A/B testing. ChatGPT can generate these rapidly, if you enter good quality starting content.

Do be very careful to double check the output, as once when I’ve tried this, some variants were non-sensical for life science and biotechnology, as it had misunderstood the term ‘model’ in the context of a disease model for drug screening.

ChatGPT has recently released an offshoot – Humanizer Pro. It claims to help you get past AI detection software, whilst maintaining content meaning and quality, and create more human sounding content. It requires a professional subscription to ChatGPT, so I haven’t tested it yet, but if you have a subscription it may be worth looking into for comparison.


BioGPT – Biological domain specific GPT.

Microsoft has developed a tool, known as BioGPT [Renqian L et al., 2022], which has been trained on more large-scale biomedical literature, including PubMed. This provides a much more appropriate language trainer than Wikipedia, which was a major data source for ChatGPT. It’s currently in a Beta stage and accessible via the hugging face site here or GitHub.

At the moment, you can’t use it to generate scientific marketing literature, as its primary training source is peer review abstracts and titles from Pubmed, and not broader internet content sources. Scientific marketing literature sits between the two styles. BioGPT is geared to answer specific research questions in its text-generation mode, rather than predictive text generation.

For example, it didn’t understand me asking about an overview of “commercial sources for human induced pluripotent stem cells”. Instead, it provided the following suggestions for questions I should ask it instead:
Can we generate cardiomyocytes from hiPSCs derived from patients with inherited cardiac diseases?
Can we use hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes to study the mechanisms of cardiac diseases?

When I rephrased the question and asked –
“What are recent reviews of the use of iPSC models for Parkinson’s Disease?”
It provided a summary of a single paper review from 2010. Whilst the sentences were written well for a scientifically trained audience, it didn’t really answer my question, and dropped off mid sentence at the end.

Its other applications include are for biomedical data analysis (for example, patient data analysis for clinical decision pathways, raw genetic datasets to predict gene and protein structure) and data extraction. We didn’t test these applications.


ScholarAI – for research question answers and references

ScholarAI (currently in beta) – can provide lists of relevant references for technical content articles and literature. Also, synopses to a particular research question you pose. (Note – I tried the standalone version, not the one that integrates with ChatGPT).
There are several reference managers out there, and manual citation sources like PubMed, of course. One advantage with Scholar AI is that you can input a specific research question and it will provide a comprehensive answer. This is written in a scientific and academic tone, with relevant peer review references and a summary.

For example, I posed the same question I did to BioGPT –
“What are recent reviews of the use of iPSC models for Parkinson’s Disease?”

It came back with a summary of developments in the field over time, ranging from a decade ago to more recent, with a range of references that were all credible. It didn’t drop off mid sentence, or focus on one single source like BioGPT. However, once I compared it to a manual equivalent I did using PubMed as a reference source, I found that I wouldn’t have picked the same references. This is based on their relevance to the statements made, journal quality (granted this may be subjective – but most people in the neuroscience field would know which journals they trust), and other key metrics, like the number of peer citations they had received.


Baked in AI

Most content platforms, including design, and social media, now have some level of AI included. For social, this tends to be a button you can press after inputting content to re-write what you’ve written. This is good for improving on sentence structure, catching typos and grammar, at the cost of making posts sound very generic, and undifferentiated.


AI – Generative and predictive models for life sciences as a whole

There are many diverse applications of AI for the life sciences, aside from generative AI (content generation), which I’ve covered here. These include, but are not limited to, In silico biologics, drug target predictions, interactions, and a whole range of predictive models for drug discovery. Similarly, clinical and healthcare applications, like identifying disease tipping points, optimal clinical care pathways, diagnostic tools for imaging, and personalised treatments. These are all Predictive AI tools and rely on integrating historical data outcomes, mostly derived from patient data.
These will be (and are) integral to future development in the life sciences and healthcare industries. They are beyond the scope of this article, and we will review them separately.

In summary

The AI offerings reviewed here definitely need to be checked by HI (Human intelligence!), for use in life sciences marketing. However, many are in beta phase, so progress will be made. They can, however, provide useful starting frameworks at speed, which need to be re-written to provide trust-worthy, meaningful content with scientific credibility for a specialist life sciences audience.
There is currently a gap between non-domain specific AI tools (like ChatGPT) and biological domain specific tools (BioGPT), and neither fulfil the specialist scientific content writing role adequately.


Renqian Luo, Liai Sun, Yingce Xia, Tao Qin, Sheng Zhang, Hoifung Poon, Tie-Yan Liu, BioGPT: generative pre-trained transformer for biomedical text generation and mining, Briefings in Bioinformatics, 23: 6, November 2022, bbac409, https://doi.org/10.1093/bib/bbac409

Useful links for tools discussed in this review:

ChatGPT https://chat.openai.com/
Open AI https://openai.com/
(Note their recent offering is the tool Sora – that creates generative video content from text prompts)
BioGPT https://huggingface.co/microsoft/BioGPT-Large
Scholar AI https://app.scholarai.io/home

Useful links for tools to try, that are not reviewed here:

Grammarly https://www.grammarly.com/
AI Writer 2.0 – https://app.neilpatel.com/aiwriter/ For blog content
Jenni https://jenni.ai/ Research paper writing

Life Sciences Marketing Plan Preparation

Life Sciences Marketing Plan : Stage 1

Why use a life sciences marketing agency?

If you’re in the early stages of formulating your B2B biotech, or life sciences marketing plan, or alternatively need some pointers to get started, you’ve come to the right place. Working with a life sciences marketing agency (like Onyva) can provide you with added resource due to our extensive experience in the industry and access to relevant tools, which can complement in-house staff and often provide better financial value. In addition, our life science marketing consultants can save you time by helping you implement an effective marketing plan rapidly. We increase your customer base in the life sciences market and nurture them into qualified leads for your product.

Stage 1: Fundamentals and Foundation work

>This article covers key background work that you need to do, before you formulate any effective life sciences marketing strategy. It’s important that you take time to ensure you have these fundamentals in place as a solid foundation to direct you. You will need them on both inbound and outbound aspects of your marketing. Dedicate this time in advance before outlining all the specific plan details, including marketing channels and scheduling.

1a. Customers

You need to have a clear insight into your current customer base, and specifically what qualifies them as leads for your products. Ensure you know what lead qualification data you hold and where the gaps are — e.g email, job titles, location, life science research or technology areas of interest, sector (academia, Pharma etc.,), purchasing history, to name a few. Note that the latter should be captured through active opt-in from subscribers to comply with your country’s data laws. Ask yourself — can you split them into different personas, or demographic groups? Do they need a different marketing approach and campaign? What are there pain points? Who makes the purchasing decision? How do you keep in touch with your customer base and inform them about your products? What is the current approach used to retain customers and make them loyal to you?

1b. Personas

Personas, from a marketing point of view, represent distinct customer groups that require different messaging to convince them to buy or use your product or service. For personas specifically, we recommend preparing a centralised resource that all team members can refer to for customer communication. This ensures all messaging is consistent.

Some examples of life science roles that could require distinct personas depending on your product:

  • Academic research: Lab technician; PhD Student; Post doctoral researcher (Postdoc for short); Senior researcher; Assistant Professor; Principal Investigator (or PI)
  • Pharmaceutical or biotech companies: Research Scientist; Senior Scientist; Group leader; Team Leader; Director

Data sources for personas:

  • Combined knowledge of sales and marketing team. Customer facing team members should have the greatest input and collate knowledge from the conversations and interactions they have with customers
  • Your CRM and accompanying data can help you identify trends for the distinct personas your company is dealing with. Also, any data and knowledge gaps you have
  • Use a short interview format with any customer interactions, or set up new ones to help collate the relevant data

What information should persona resources include for life science sectors?
This will be different for each use case, but here’s an indicator for B2B life sciences marketing:

Job title (skills, experience); Preferred method of interaction; Challenges they face (relevant to your product); Their goals (relating to your product); What can your product do to help achieve their goals; What problem is your product solving; What objections would they have to our product; What reason would stop them buying; Key marketing message; Key short sales (elevator) pitch.

Store your persona as a centralised PDF or presentation that all the sales and marketing team can access.

2. Products, market positioning and price

Product USP and lifecycle phase

If you’re responsible for a specific product or product portfolio, you need to have a clear vision of the product USP. Which stage of the product life cycle is it at — introduction, growth, maturity or decline? Different approaches are needed for each stage. It’s common for a product that’s developed in-house to be preceded by a lab to launch stage. After initial feasibility and idea generation, it’s common to invest considerable time and money for R&D, testing, QC and compliance. An alternative is the use of an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) model. Here, you opt to buy and source a product or technology from a smaller supplier, and rebrand it to sell to your customer base.

In-house development versus OEM

If you’re offering a unique product that you’ve developed in-house, you have an advantage in the market. However, you may also need to recoup considerable development costs with your pricing.
A rebranded OEM product can have smaller margins, but you forfeit development costs. As a result, market positioning could be very different to an in-house product. Especially, if your competitors are doing the same thing, or the OEM manufacturer is also selling the product directly to customers.

So, how do you differentiate your product to the customer? Critical to success are your brand reputation in the area, and out-manouevering your competitor on customer reach in the target market. Other ideas include further in-house testing, more expedient delivery, and better support to help your re-branded product get ahead. You need to communicate these advantages clearly in your marketing messages.

You should be also be aware of the product pipeline for the upcoming year, including new product releases prior to starting your annual marketing plan.

3. Competitor Analysis

You need to have a clear idea of the position you occupy in the market with your products, before you embark on marketing activities. This also feeds into determining your USP. Hence, a competitor analysis is a fundamental part of your marketing plan. You need to identify your competitors and evaluate their strategies to have a thorough understanding of their strength and weaknesses, relative to your offering.

4. Your sales growth targets

A critical task is to establish annual projections for growth for product offerings to help prioritise your marketing activities. This will help you allocate marketing time and budget effectively as well. Depending on your company structure, this may be the remit of the sales team. It’s important you have a clear understanding for the basis of sales projections. They may be based on year on year growth trends from previous performance — so-called bottom up approach. Alternatively, they can be the result of a company priority designated by the executive board, or the revenue you require to recoup R&D costs of a new product. This will help direct your strategy. The latter two reasons may require more initial time and effort allocation than the former. Especially if your product is already in a sustained growth phase.

5. Available Budgets

You need to have an idea of your allocated fiscal marketing budget. If you have a joint budget pool for your team, it’s common to have to submit a plan as justification for the budget you receive.

In summary

Doing your ground work is essential to provide direction and a solid foundation for your marketing plan. As your first quarter progresses, you may need to modify to account for changes. These could include unseen market factors, a new offering from a competitor for example, and sales performance. Indeed, adaptability is a key skill for marketers who suceed. However, researching thoroughly at the planning stage provides you with clear justification for the strategies adopted.

Want to receive further life science marketing tips and high-res versions of all of our marketing plan infographics?

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Or get in touch with us for life science marketing consultancy now.

Onyva The Agency - 7 years

We’re turning 7!

We’re celebrating our 7th anniversary this month. An incredible 7 years in business! Thank you to our amazing clients, supporters and friends for helping us get here.
We’ve been privileged to have such diverse clients from global life sciences companies, medical diagnostics, medical charities and scientific publishing, to name a few, put their trust in us to run all aspects of their marketing over the last seven years.
This year, we worked on some incredible projects, that included the launch of a new website for national cancer charity, Melanoma Focus. We continued to work with our partner charities, including Petals (for their 10th anniversary year), and the MND Association.
Our MD, Dr. Seema Sharma was recognised with a Best Science and Technology Director MD award. Also, our search for new marketing consultants to join our expanding team continues!

Need to get in touch? Email us today

In the UK area? Or want to see us at our Cambridge offices?
Call us to set up an in person meeting today:
+441223 790557

Our charity partner – Petals 10th Anniversary

We were very pleased to attend and sponsor Petals, 10th Anniversary celebration on the 10th July 2022. Petals is one of our charity partners. After a delay, due to the pandemic, the charity team including counsellors, supported families and friends gathered in an afternoon tea celebration at Madingley Hall, Cambridge. Karen Burgess, CEO of Petals, recounted how the charity had grown after she set it up on a small donation. She thanked Onyva The Agency for sponsorship of the event. Our MD, Dr. Seema Sharma also attended.
The atmosphere of the day was captured expertly by talented business photographer Elodie Giuge, whose images are shown here. Elodie has also been our photographer of choice as an agency for commercial photography. Visit https://www.photographybyeg.com for more information.

Useful links for further reading:

Onyva Agency Seema Sharma

Managing Director of Year Award: Science and Technology 2022

Onyva The Agency Award: Best Science and Technology MD of the year

Cambridge UK, July 1st 2022: We’re very pleased to hear that our MD, Dr. Seema Sharma, has received a prize for being the Best Science and Technology Specialist Managing Director of the Year 2022.  

Seema says, “ It’s great to receive this recognition, and I am hugely grateful to the team who bring extensive experience to the business that has enabled our success. We will shortly be celebrating our 7th year in business, and I look forward to us continuing to provide exceptional marketing services to the scientific sector.”

The SME national business awards are based on a panel decision for an individual demonstrating a high level of excellence within their field, dedication and ongoing commitment to innovation and development. SME states that ‘our awards are given based solely on merit and not the amount of votes that an individual receives, nor their financial stature.’ 

Mike Young, Senior Design Lead at Onyva the Agency states “I have worked with Onyva The Agency for over 2 years now. Seema is one of the best managers I’ve had the pleasure to have worked alongside. She has an unflappable nature and great knowledge in the field — it makes her the best person to lead any project. She also incentivises and supports the team very well.”

Onyva The Agency is a full services marketing agency, dedicated to the scientific sector. They support clients in the life sciences, Pharma, biotech, medical sector (including diagnostics) and related fields. Their specialisms include technical content production, digital marketing, branding, design and campaign strategy.  

Read more in the full article Best Science and Technology Specialist Director: 2022. Seema Sharma – Onyva The Agency, in SME news. 

For more information contact the team:


+44 (0)1223 790557

View our blog post on the services we offer

IWD 2022 – Tips for Breaking the Bias in the workplace

IWD2022 #BreaktheBias

This years International Women’s Day IWD2022 has the theme of ‘Break the Bias.’ The Onyva Team Members have come up with four approaches that they feel contribute the most to tackling gender bias in the workplace.

1. Amplification

Different genders have been shown to have different communication styles, with male styles typically being more direct in expressing their opinions or needs. Common female complaints include being talked over in meetings or when stating an idea, which is then picked up by another male colleague in the room and rephrased as their own.
So if you hear a good idea – amplify it by repeating it and giving credit to the person who came up with it. Don’t let them be talked over, or someone else rephrase it, and make it their own.

2. Don’t let the loudest dominate

Ensure everyone is heard. In meetings, having short summaries from those attending in advance, with the points they want to make to the Chair/Organiser can help.

3. Don’t be a bystander, speak up

Step in and support each other and don’t be a bystander to gender based put downs or biased comments. These comments may not be significant enough to raise with HR, but nevertheless help fuel bias. Having colleagues, both male and female that speak up against low-grade bullying or inappropriate comments, can provide much needed support and change workplace culture.

4. Challenge ideas of merit

I’ve often heard ‘We promote on merit,’as a catch all term that makes organisations feel better about themselves, and even ‘it’s impossible to promote women,’ (said to me directly by a male CEO at one company).But who
defines that merit, and what does it actually mean in real terms? We need to challenge an organisation’s idea of merit. Especially, when it equates to traditionally male characteristics, as is still the case in many workplaces.

Further reading:

An article by our MD, Seema Sharma for Mendeley Careers
Gender Bias in the Workplace

Celebrating 6 years of marketing science

This month marks 6 years of Onyva The Agency marketing science.  We’d like to thank our global clients, partners and friends in the scientific industries for the trust they’ve have placed in us. As a result, we’ve been able to continue doing what we enjoy best. That’s transforming brands, producing the best scientific copy, using digital marketing knowledge to ensure audiences find and engage with clients, and raising brand awareness. Happy 6th Anniversary to Onyva The Agency.

Seema and the Onyva Team

Although the last year was not without challenge, our client partners have grown, with unique projects including the brand transformation of a national cancer charity. We will be looking to recruit new members of the team this year. Thanks to family, friends and clients for their ongoing support.

Dr. Seema Sharma, MD at Onyva The Agency.


What we offer as a scientific marketing agency – New Video

In our new video our MD, Seema Sharma, talks about our specialist scientific marketing agency. We focus on our services, team and the sectors we cover. In addition, we include some recent global examples of life science marketing projects. For example research instrumentation campaign launches, digital marketing for life science reagents, and SEO for scientific publishing.

We are a full service scientific marketing agency

If you are looking for marketing strategy, brand & design, digital marketing, copywriting, or PR in a scientific field, please contact the team. We’d be happy to provide advice and let you know more about what we do: info@onyva-agency.com

Adapting our life science marketing during Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in many changes in the way we all work, as well as the drastic health consequences we have been unfortunate to experience or witness. In this short video, our MD, Dr. Seema Sharma describes some business challenges that have presented to us as an agency focussed on the scientific field, and how we have adapted our life science marketing services.

IWD2021. Women Scientists. Nobel Laureates

IWD2021: Women who changed science

In celebration of this year’s international women’s day, we’ve taken a look at some of the women who have changed science over the last century.


Women who’ve changed science

Marie Curie: Physicist

Year: 1903, 1911: Double Nobel Laureate for Physics, and Chemistry

  • Crucial study in spontaneous radiation (Physics)
  • Investigation in radium and polonium (Chemistry)
  • “We must have perseverance, and above all confidence in ourselves”
    Marie Curie

    Joan Clarke: Mathematician, Cryptanalyst

    Year: 1941

  • Joint codebreaker of the ‘The Enigma Machine’ used by the Nazis to transmit messages in WW2
  • Admiral Grace Hopper: Computer scientist, Naval Officer

    Years: 1941, 1952

  • Developed COBOL, one of the world’s first high-level programming languages
  • Invented the first compiler, to translate programming code to machine language
  • Received US awards- the Presidential Medal of Freedom (posthumous), National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

    Rosalind Franklin: Crystallographer

    Year: 1952

  • Discovered and photographed the helical structure of DNA (Photo 51)

    Rita Levi-Montalcini: Neuroembryologist

    Year: 1986 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or medicine

  • Discovery of nerve growth factor
  • Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard: Geneticist

    Year: 1995
    Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

  • Genetic control of embryonic development
  • Linda B. Buck: Neurobiologist

    Year: 2004 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

  • Discovery of odorant receptors and advances in the olfactory system
  • Elizabeth H. Blackburn: Cell Biologist

    Year: 2009 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine

  • Co-discovery of telomerase
  • May-Britt Moser: Neuroscientist

    Year: 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

  • Discovery of grid cells in brain for positioning and navigation
  • Jennifer A. Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier: Protein Biochemists

    Year: 2020
    Nobel Laureates in Chemistry (joint)

  • Development of the CRISPR–Cas9 gene-editing tools
  • For further female pioneers – take a look at our infographic “Pioneering women in science.”