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QA and ELN, it’s still tricky since these systems are tightly integrated. Our experience is that LIMS oſten forms a bridge during the transition and is oſten the first common, harmonised system which is then integrated with the two ERPs, CDSs, and multiple ELN systems, for example.’ Breadth of functionality is important here,

Townsend maintains. ‘A LIMS with wide ranging functionality can be more easily used by a newly merged organisation than one with more limited features. Many of the mergers and acquisitions we have been involved with take advantage of this capability of LIMS, and we have invested in creating soſtware tools, techniques and services to help our customers work through these complex tasks and manage data migration.

Increasing productivity Pharma’s drive to develop personalised medicine, minimise risk and work more collaboratively is taking place in parallel with the ongoing need to increase productivity and reduce costs at the R&D level, comments Andrew Lemon, CEO at Te Edge Soſtware Consultancy. Tere’s much discussion about high-level strategies, but pharma still needs to consider implementing the informatics capabilities that will allow it to manage its basic R&D processes to save time, money, and reduce errors. ‘Pharma is constantly pushing to achieve more, and faster, but at lower cost. Companies

need to optimise the use of their resources, from their laboratory personnel to their instrumentation and samples, and ensure that the project management teams and hands-on scientists can communicate effectively to drive a project forwards, cost-effectively and with maximum return. Take this concept down to the level of an individual workflow in, for example, the ADME, DMPK and toxicology space, and you need to be able to streamline and manage demand, particularly in the area of global assay requesting and assay planning,



to ensure that communication, tracking and reporting don’t create bottlenecks. Time is money, and there’s little point having your scientists waiting at the bench because there isn’t an efficient, automated process for requesting those assays. Conversely, you have to make sure you have the personnel, laboratory space, and instrumentation capacity to meet demand. Project tracking and optimisation, and

assay planning, are all areas that Te Edge is actively working in with its clients, to provide

the tools that will allow pharma to minimise time, money and resource wastage.’

Tactical tools Lemon concurs with Adel Laoui’s sentiment that discovery functions such as HTS and early development processes have become routine and are ideally suited to factory processes driven by automation and robotics. Move downstream to preclinical in vivo work and clinical studies, however, and there is still considerable room to improve efficiency. Working with humans and animals can’t be automated. ‘Break down the 12-year drug development

timeline into stages, and its evident that there are many opportunities to shorten the in vivo and clinical phases of development, not in terms of reducing the length of required studies, but with respect to improving efficiency through improved communication, and expedited planning, execution and reporting. ‘We believe that tactical tools are important

in this area, to maximise the efficiency of both in-house workflows, and externalised processes that are carried out by contract research, academic or co-development partners. It’s a case of using smart soſtware that can operate a networked R&D model, virtualised from the inside. Implement such tools, and shaving a not insignificant amount of time and cost off your development process is achievable.’


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