Life Sciences

How Life Sciences CROs Are Changing To Strategic Partners: The Covid-19 Effect

How Life Sciences CROs Are Changing To Strategic Partners: The Covid-19 Effect 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • The biotechnology and life sciences industry is at a cusp of significant changes due to COVID-19. A lot of fluidity is built up due to the pandemic and a significant dependency on government rules, FDA regulations, intricate drug production and overall research and development.
  • These firms are looking for Contract Research Organizations (CROs) who can take the role of strategic partners that can manage their life sciences research & development. The preference of CROs has already shifted from traditional to technologically adaption that can handle the rapid pace needed due to the existing COVID-19 emergency.
  • The call for innovation and increased collaboration among CROs has led to a new, more comprehensive project management era. It is improving customer engagement and experience.

The Role of a Contract Research Organization

Project management is the backbone of any contract research organization. Regardless of its specialty–biopharmaceutical development, commercialization, preclinical research, clinical research, clinical trial management or pharmacovigilance-all require project management. Pharmaceutical and life sciences companies outsource research and development work to CROs for better time management, test data maintenance and focus on concrete results.

While the role of CROs was not very well defined in the early 2000s, they have evolved from being mere project management vendors to strategic partners for life science organizations. Contract work is now common in various steps of the research life cycle. Adding contractors is now a necessity for the R&D wings of any biotechnology or pharmaceutical company.

Active engagement with CROs helps accelerate the drug development process. In the Covid-19 era, these CROs must be prepared to streamline their project work without a process breakdown.

CROs have evolved from a target-based model to become more a strategic partner to life sciences and biotechnology companies.

Pharmaceutical companies conduct sponsored trials, driving their products safely and quickly to the market. Initially, these projects were outsourced to CROs with a limited scope of time and budget management. Now the CROs are expected to manage risks and maintain transparency throughout the clinical trials. The rapidly expanding biochemical industry demands that CROs keep up with market conditions.

According to contract research organizations global market report, The global market for clinical trial services to biopharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies is forecast to grow at 12% year on year up to 2021.

This stat is already obsolete. The need for contract research and development services is increasing as life science companies seek to find effective treatments and possible cures for the SARS Covid virus.

Figure: 1 Steps for Right Partner Selection

Steps for Right Partner Selection

Growth and general technological disruptions in project management are leading to a progressive change in the roles of CROs while managing sponsored clinical trials.

Situations affecting CRO evolution

  • End-to-End Strategic Partnerships: CROs are no longer just outsourced vendors for life sciences companies to carry out Pharma research or conduct clinical trials. CROs are now expected to become pharma companies’ strategic partners, helping make their clients successful. End-to-end coordination with pharmaceutical companies gives these organizations the time and stability they need to focus on core research. Coordinating from the start helps the CROs capture the right kind of clinical data required to make each drug commercially viable.
  • Bringing Innovation to the Table: CRO project management is not just about completing given tasks while meeting their client’s deadlines. Working closely with their customers means changing how they work. That, in turn, requires newer project management approaches that take research from start to finish. Pharmaceutical companies expect innovative, out-of-the-box solutions to manage risks, cut costs and push the boundaries of paramedical science while complying with the government’s rules and regulations. An important change is that CRO project management has moved from being reactive and solving problems to becoming proactive, anticipating problems and providing solutions.

Figure: 2 Key Parameters CROs are Assessed on

Key Parameters CROs are Assessed on

  • Being Technologically Ahead: Companies can start with three main technology initiatives: transitioning to cloud computing; creating strong workflows to move processes and procedures forward; using online collaboration tools.
  • Each of these above points leads to faster results, fewer errors, better team management and improved communication between the client and the CRO during the project life cycle.

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Customer Experience and Engagement

A crucial part of project management is actively engaging clients when a project requires collaboration. Customer experience and engagement can no longer be ignored. Making a strategic partnership work requires communication between everyone involved.

An effective customer experience approach requires knowing what to do, how to do it and using every available tool to create acceptable results.

Connect your processes, customer data and tools with Dynamics 365 and the Microsoft Cloud

Customer Experience (CX) and Customer Engagement (CE) can be made better for a CRO

01.Process and Procedures

Some ways to improve the customer experience and boost customer engagement are:

  • Improving team management
  • Quick onboarding of clinical trial experts
  • Using effective cost management techniques
  • Proactively managing clinical trial risks
  • Mitigating probable risks strategies
  • Using detailed analytics to monitor, report and understand research data
  • Using resource planning tools to optimize resources for multiple projects
  • Simplifying milestone-based billing
  • Improving deviation-tracking methods to remove unknowns early in the project lifecycle.

Life science CROs should consider using a next-generation customer experience platform to accelerate development and drive demand. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is one such system that offers the essential tools and capabilities in one comprehensive ecosystem.

The seamless integration between Dynamics 365, robust cloud computing, artificial intelligence and tools such as Office 365 can help. Dynamics 365 is a class-leading life science customer engagement platform that functions across mobile devices, which is a large market need.

02.Digital Advancement

To enhance their customer experience and engagement, companies should:

  • Move from legacy systems to the cloud
  • Use advanced analytics for risk prediction and mitigation
  • Systematically manage their R&D database with digital applications
  • Use software tools to Improve collaboration with clients
  • Reduce human intervention and automate project management workflows
  • Create customer and supplier self-service portals to engage both
  • Use in-line reporting through key project milestones to build trust and visibility with customers

03.The Inevitable Evolution

The changing role of CROs is leading to greater expectations from life sciences clients. Pharmaceutical companies are looking for CROs that are not afraid to push boundaries and are adept at using the latest tools and techniques.

Companies aiming for greater customer satisfaction can use cutting-edge technologies to engage with CRO’s at an integral level. As a result, CROs are becoming be more innovative and agile in their project management approach.

An interdependent relationship helps with clinical trials while improving the client company’s overall research and development. A well-managed and organized workflow-based environment helps contractors and clients.

Two tools that can help build this interdependency are Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance combined with D365’s Supply Chain Management. The two modules can help create a comprehensive system to aid a CRO in becoming better strategic partners with Pharma and Biotech companies.

Figure: 3How to Create Successful Sourcing Partnerships?

How to Create Successful Sourcing Partnerships

Increase your speed of business with unified processes and predictive analytics

The speed of doing business is increasing. As companies seek to stay competitive, they must rely on technology to provide agility and the capabilities needed to excel. However, many organizations are still running on ERP systems that are complex, inflexible and impede their ability to innovate and grow.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps you to

  • Elevate your company’s financial performance and streamline its supply chain management
  • Innovate with connected operations in an extensible platform
  • Drive HR operational excellence through organizational agility and centralized data
  • Unify the processes listed above with predictive analytics and intelligence
  • Track and trace inventory management
  • End-to-end customer project management

Key Takeaways

CROs are transforming from time-bound project management consultants into performance and results-oriented firms.

  • As technology evolves, so do project management tools. CROs are equipping themselves with these tools for better time management, budget management and risk mitigation.
  • Technology allowing smoother customer and supplier onboarding for clinical trials is needed today.
  • Pharmaceutical companies are looking for CROs to manage R&D projects end-to-end while providing innovative solutions.
  • While time management and cost management will always be top priorities for CROs in any project, they must also offer greater returns to their clients.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Using AI & ML in the Pharmaceutical Industry – Key Considerations

Using AI & ML in the Pharmaceutical Industry – Key Considerations 700 500 Xcelpros Team

Introduction

Artificial intelligence is one of those science-fiction-sounding phrases, but what does it mean to people in the pharmaceutical industry? What is the difference between AI and its cousin, ML, which means machine learning? How can the two types of computer software make pharmaceutical companies more efficient and profitable?

The answers are in what they do and how AI and ML work together.

AI can be defined as using computer algorithms—math—to perform tasks requiring human intelligence. IBM defines AI as “leveraging computers and machines to mimic problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind.”

“It is the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. It is related to the similar task of using computers to understand human intelligence, but AI does not have to confine itself to methods that are biologically observable,” John McCarthy was quoted as saying in a 2004 paper.

So if AI acts like somewhat like a human mind to solve problems, how is machine learning different?

“Machine learning is the study of computer algorithms that can improve automatically through experience and by the use of data. It is seen as a part of artificial intelligence,” Wikipedia states.

In essence, the two types of programs work together to analyze information.

For example, say the first 100 production runs of product XYZ1000 have a 70 percent success rate in terms of meeting basic quality standards. Analysis shows the difference between success and failure is one step. Every run where the temperature was kept within a 0.2-degree range succeeded. Every run where the temperature exceeded 0.5 degrees failed. Logic says that keeping the temperature within that narrow range boosts success which, in turn, improves productivity.

Machine learning tells operators, “keep the temperature within 0.2 degrees for this one step.” Artificial intelligence builds on machine learning. It says, “by keeping everything else the same and keeping the temperature in this single step within 0.2 degrees,” the company will see:

  • More efficient use of raw materials
  • Less waste
  • Greater profits
  • A host of other benefits

So how does a pharmaceutical manufacturing company benefit by using AI and ML? Let’s look at the numbers.

By the Numbers

  • $100 billion: The amount of money AI and ML can generate in the US health care industry alone.
  • $161 million – $2 billion: The estimated cost of getting a new drug through clinical trials and obtaining FDA approval.
  • 72 percent: The percentage of healthcare companies believing that AI will be crucial to how they do business in the future.
  • 62 percent: The percentage of healthcare companies considering investing in AI soon.
  • 61 percent: The percentage of companies believing that AI will help them identify opportunities they will otherwise miss.
  • 13.8 percent: A study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates the number of drugs successfully passing clinical trials.
  • 11 percent: The percentage of businesses who have not considered investing in AI.

Sources: Digital Authority Partners and PharmaNews Intel.

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How AI Helps the Pharmaceutical Industry

Add in a third element—large data sets created by Internet of Things (IoT) sensors wired into a company’s network—and the result is a technology-savvy, company that can see ways to improve efficiency. AI runs computations that estimate probabilities based on known numbers.

Going back to our earlier example, 30 percent of the production runs failed quality standards. That’s the new baseline. Having computers that can finely tune machines reduces tolerances.

Another way pharmaceutical companies are using AI is to speed up drug discovery. It sifts through large datasets from clinical studies and other sources to detect hidden patterns, performing tasks in seconds that once took months. Learning every time they perform a task, AIs run through millions of tasks.

“Drug discovery is being transformed through the use of AI, which is reducing the time it takes to mine the vast amounts of scientific data to enable a better understanding of disease mechanisms and identify new potential drug candidates,” says Karen Taylor, director of the Centre for Health Solutions at accounting and consultancy group Deloitte. “Traditional drug discovery has been very fragmentary, very hit and miss,” she adds in The Guardian article.

The rapid creation of effective Covid-19 vaccines is a direct result of AI and ML in the pharmaceutical industry, Taylor states.

Figure: 1 Funding in Artificial Intelligence in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Funding in Artificial Intelligence in the Pharmaceutical Industry

How valuable is AI to big pharma? Britain’s two largest drug makers—AstraZeneca and GSK—recently funded the Cambridge Center for AI in Medicine at the prestigious university. GSK already opened a £10 million (roughly $13.5 million) in central London. This lab is near Google’s DeepMind AI lab.

DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis recently unveiled Isomorphic Labs, which intends to use an AI-first approach to discovering new drugs. DeepMind’s AlphaFold2 AI system solved the 50-year-old challenge of protein folding. AlphaFold is capable of predicting the 3D structure of protein directly from its amino acid sequence to atomic-level accuracy, Hassabis said in a recent Isomorphic blog post.

“One of the most important applications of AI that I can think of is in the field of biological and medical research, and it is an area I have been passionate about addressing for many years,” he said.

Hassabis considers biology an extremely complex and dynamic information processing system, making it a perfect match for AI.

“But just as mathematics turned out to be the right description language for physics, biology may turn out to be the perfect type of regime for the application of AI,” he said.

The Guardian article also looks at the money: Using older methods, nine of every 10 drugs in development will fail. The average drug development time is 10-12 years. With AI, the success rate is expected to at least double and possibly boost success from 1:10 to as high as 1:2.

How Can SMBs Benefit from AI?

While having $13 million in labs devoted to research is a great idea, many companies don’t have that large of an R&D budget. At least one well-known company has enterprise resource planning modules that integrate AI: Microsoft.

Figure: 2 AI Powered Insights by Microsoft

AI Powered Insights by Microsoft

AI Powered Insights by Microsoft

One example is Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Customer Insights is one of several modules that has AI built in. When pharmaceutical companies combine Dynamics’ Business Intelligence module with its Integrated Chemical Management (iCM), the two work together to mine your pharmaceutical data.

iCM is specifically designed to handle tasks like System of Record (SOR) for chemical and regulatory data plus compliance with cGMP regulations.

Add in Dynamics’ Supply Chain Management module and pharmaceutical manufacturers and suppliers can know to the second how much of any given product they have. Using AI and other information mined from a thorough inventory review, companies can accurately predict how much of any given precursor chemical they need to meet forecast demands. With this information, companies can place orders when costs are low or keep just enough on hand.

The Bottom Line

Pharmaceutical companies already create mountains of data. Instead of losing valuable nuggets of information such as trends and insights, artificial intelligence can sort through it. AI can:

  • Perform comparatively mundane tasks extremely fast
  • Provide your company with ways to create new products at lower costs
  • Produce new drugs much faster than before
  • Reduce the number of new drug failures

Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 modules equipped with the power of AI will ultimately help boost your bottom line.

About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

CRM in Pharmaceutical Industry

How CRM Fosters Customer Engagement in the Pharmaceutical Industry

How CRM Fosters Customer Engagement in the Pharmaceutical Industry 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • Pharmaceutical Companies are updating their software systems to improve customer retention, customer satisfaction and increase up-selling products.
  • By the end of 2018, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system became the most extensive and fastest-growing software market globally, estimated to churn out $80 billion revenue by 2025.
  • The primary reason for the staggering growth of the CRM software industry is the accessibility to customer data that help businesses close customer deals.
  • The pharmaceutical industry’s complexity makes CRM software a must for faster development to retain and expand its existing customer base.

Post COVID19, most sales and marketing teams have gone remote. The unforeseen circumstances of not having an in-person interaction with customers have driven businesses to invest in the latest and conversion-oriented CRM tools. Pharmaceutical Companies are rapidly onboarding systems for marketing, sales, and customer service. Companies now have newer sales objectives such as managing long-distance interactions, maintaining the same engagement with health care providers, pharmacies and even end patients. Tools need to be interactive, AI-based and understand customer behavior based on their interactions to meet the mentioned sales objectives. We have seen an increase in polls and surveys, more digital content like videos, podcasts. And more impetus on tracking each of these interactions’ results. There is a lot more crossover between sales and marketing now, with sales professionals taking over some marketing responsibilities. With the role shifting, there is no other way than moving to digital-AI-based CRM systems.

All these changes and life sciences companies rushing to bring out a COVID19 vaccine have intensified competition. But competition is just a small concern that pharmaceutical organizations face. Profitability becomes a key concern with rapidly changing stringent government regulations, time lag between testing, commercialization of the medicine. And stiff competition due to lower-priced products.

Recently Mark Cuban, an American billionaire entrepreneur and investor, announced that he is investing in a business that will manufacture low-cost generic medicines. Per Forbes, the low-cost generic pharmaceutical drug company’s business plan is to maintain supply chain transparency. They intend to achieve this by buying medicines from wholesalers, packaging them, adding only a 15% markup, selling to pharmacies, clinics and health systems.”

Driving drug costs down will become a trend moving forward to make prescription medicines more affordable for end-users. The Pharmaceutical market anticipates its growth to exceed $1.2 trillion by 2022. Due to this growth, companies invest in innovative, and cutting-edge technologies to manage their most significant asset – customer insights.

According to a report by Seeking Alpha, the CRM market’s potential is estimated to be approximately $82 Billion by the year 2025, with an annual growth rate of about 12% per year. The report also suggested that if the same annual growth rate is maintained until 2034, the CRM market can grow to $228 billion. Your company is more successful in selling, maintaining customer relationships. And improve customer loyalty when users from different departments are trained on the right CRM tools.

The statistics prove that CRM helps meet the end-to-end customer acquisition demands, potential leads from the vast database of loyal customers. And keep customers satisfied with the products offered. Pharmaceutical firms gain a competitive edge through lead scoring, quote management, marketing automation integration. Most Pharmaceutical companies need to send samples to customers before actual orders are placed. They track how samples performed and what the viability is for sale to happen.

The solution to a slow-growth company is to increase its profits by keeping the existing customers happy. And acquiring a more extensive customer base. CRM in the pharmaceutical industry offers to centralize functioning by providing a common platform for maintaining the existing customer base and developing new strategies to expand in the market. Maintaining customer relationships helps ensure that customers are happy and will not be poached by competitors.

Figure: 1 How much time do your sellers spend engaging with customers?

32%on average sellers only spend 32% of their time selling.

Source: CSO Insights

59% of sellers say they have too many sales tools.

Source: Accenture

18%Only 18% of salespeople are considered trusted advisor.

Source: HBR

Why Pharmaceutical Companies Need CRM?

  • Building better relationships with customers – The directly proportional relationship between drugs released and an increasing number of patients makes it essential for your pharmaceutical company to strategize relationship building with your existing customer base.
  • Finding and utilizing data – Effectively using CRM insights by capturing useful data about patients, doctors and medicines. Developing a centralized repository with customer interactions accessible to various departments ensures transparency and enhances customer experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Improving marketing strategies – Smart marketing through collateral and digital media can help gain customer attention. CRM in such customer-centric industries derives valuable insights from centralized repositories containing relevant information (of all their open and closed activities) for pharmacies, doctors and other clients. This helps sales experts to expand their customer base and increase customer loyalty.
  • Tracking campaigns – An advanced CRM software helps in campaign management for pharma companies who advertise their products. The software also increases transparency in sales costs vs. the number of leads generated and converted.
  • Effective customer service – Solving queries raised by customers immediately, reducing delays. And providing effective customer support services are must-haves to increase customer retention. Various AI-based customer service tools like assignment rules and alerts are instrumental in building a customer base.
  • Building on customer feedback – The feedback and suggestions gathered from the existing customer base help strategize better customer interaction in the future. This helps in making more refined, enhanced products and services thus, expanding the business areas. Implementing a tool to track feedback helps ensure that departments know to manage unhappy customers, and help with customer pain points.

According to a report by Capterra, 80% of the CRM users reported that their sales teams are the ones who have access to these systems, helping them acquire better quality leads and potential customers. The marketing and customer service departments come after the sales department to access the CRM software used for pipeline reporting and ROI tracking, edging at approximately 45%.

Why building effective customer relationship management in pharmaceutical industry is essential?

  • Salesforce predicts that 51% of sales pros give building and maintaining customer relationships more importance.
  • Building functional customer relationships is the paramount need for companies to increase their customer retention metrics and expand their customer bases.
  • Research conducted by Zesty showed that only 5% increase in customer retention results in up to 25-90% increase in profits for firms.
  • Building an effective customer relationship is essential for pharmaceutical companies as maintaining functional relationships with customers boosts the company’s revenue. And helps acquire large customer bases by increasing customer satisfaction in the pharma industry.

How Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM serves your pharmaceutical company?

Dynamics 365 CRM helps improve the connection between you and your customer instantly by managing your customer engagement from Discovery to closure. It offers you the full range of functionality you need for a high-performance, motivated sales department.

Dynamics 365 CRM for pharmaceutical integrates into your ERP and BI systems to leverage your customer data’s full potential. It is used as your central information platform from leads management functions to smart customer analytics. And with AI helps you make the right moves to close deals. Move ahead of your competition with advanced sales force automation. Dynamics 365 Sales is a state-of-the-art CRM solution that integrates with your everyday tools like Microsoft Office applications to increase seller productivity, fully grasp your customer needs, and increase sales.

Figure: 2What can your company do to get ahead?

Make Smarter Decisions

How do sellers know which opportunities to pursue and how to personalize conversations?

Leverage data-driven insights and AI to guide sellers with next-best point for personalized engagement.

Free up time selling

How much time do your sellers spend on administrative tasks?

Reduce busywork by automating manual tasks and enable sellers to complete actions right from Outlook to be more productive.

Get up and running fast

How many tools does your sales team use to get work done?

Empower your sellers and help your IT staff focus on other priorities with a connected sales platform that is easy to set up, configure, and maintain.

D365 provides you the following add-ons for project-specific extensions-

  • Business intelligence with Microsoft Power BI for business development
  • Campaign management
  • Customer segmentation
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) integration
  • Project and Resource management
  • Terms and conditions data price/lists

Key Takeaways

  • You must stay at par with the growing market structures to thrive, mostly post COVID19. And adopt the new technologies as they emerge.
  • The benefits of CRM, especially with AI, has transitioned from just customer acquisition to maintenance of good customer relations and many more.
  • With all the capabilities to make your sales and marketing teams successful, the right CRM application is a key growth-enabler for your company.

Get the right tools for customer engagement and customer relationship management

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com

Top Concerns of Biotechnology Industry Current Issues

Top Concerns of Biotechnology Industry Current Issues 700 500 Xcelpros Team

At a Glance

  • The world has turned its hopes towards biotech companies to reduce the spread and impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The biotech industry is working continuously towards fortifying healthcare systems, enabling serosurveillance to gauge the spread of disease in a community and to aid in the development of a vaccine.
  • With governments across the globe funding research and production costs to enable biotech companies to win this battle against time, there are various operational, technological, and workforce concerns that these companies face that need to be addressed with strategic maneuvering from the apex.

Introduction

The Biotech and Life Sciences industry is one of the most sought after sectors this year in conjunction with the pharmaceutical industry as a solution to the current Covid-19 pandemic. Health experts across the globe have agreed that highly effective treatments, including the development of a vaccine, would be needed to reduce and eventually stop the spread of novel coronavirus, allowing cultures around the world to get back to normal activity. While some countries have fared better than others in handling the Covid-19 health crisis, there are still looming fears of new waves. Current Biotechnology issues are expected to normalize with an effective antidote or vaccine.

While the biotech industry sprung into action to begin developing a solution almost immediately, there’s still a long way to go. Challenges faced by biotechnology have been as real as the crisis itself. While the biotech and life sciences industry has a primary role in addressing pandemics like that of COVID-19, it’s not immune to economic downturns, supply chain disruptions, workforce shortage, or any other challenges.

Below are some of the pain points that the Biotech and Life Sciences industry are facing:

01.Roadblocks and Hurdles

All over the world, various biopharma companies, both privately and through government-funded efforts, are performing clinical trials for different potential vaccines and drugs. In 63 days after the genome sequence of the novel coronavirus was shared with the world, USA’s Moderna Biotech Inc. had developed its mRNA candidate to battle the pandemic. Being able to move at a pace never seen before requires immense talent, robust AI-enabled software setup to perform bioinformatics processes, and exceptional R&D infrastructure.

The journey from vaccine development to approval and administration on a global scale is wrought with numerous additional steps and hurdles, requiring mobilization of assets and task forces, recruitment of volunteers, conducting clinical trials, collation, and analysis of humongous amounts of data, smoothly operating supply chains, enormous monetary investments, and a well-equipped production and distribution infrastructure.

02.Collateral Delays

The spread of the coronavirus pandemic brought most of the world to a screeching halt, with many businesses having been forced to close. A result of this is disruptions to major clinical trials and research work on medicines and vaccines for other life-threatening diseases like cancer, HIV, autoimmune diseases, etc. These are collateral delays, and the biotech industry is now challenged with not ignoring existing health issues while still focusing on developing a solution for the ongoing pandemic.

03.Global Distribution

Health experts and top executives at significant biotech companies agree that even if we succeed in making an effective vaccine for Covid-19, there would be a need for immense strategic and operational changes in the current global and local supply chains to ensure that it’s produced and distributed to everyone around the world. With disruptions to most supply chains, only adding to challenges faced by the Biotechnology industry, it will be interesting to see how these organizations address these issues.

Figure 1Covid-19 Vaccine Development in Phases: The Role of Biotech and Pharma

04.ROI

A global health crisis of this scale requires a humanitarian approach to ensuring treatment is available to all. This is why most pharmaceutical and biotech companies have agreed that the first or even second batches of any drugs or vaccines they produce(should they prove to be valid) will be distributed at non-profitable rates. We shouldn’t, however, neglect the current biotechnology issues who are investing millions of dollars in rising to the occasion. These organizations will need a blueprint for steady business growth and monetary returns in the post-COVID era.

05.Remote Solutions

Now more than ever, biotech companies need highly skilled and experienced scientists, health experts, and paramedical personnel who can make this journey towards vaccine development smooth. With most businesses still not fully operational to support new workplace requirements, more remote access solutions will have to be developed and embraced to keep operations moving forward.

Role of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain in Biotech Companies

We have spoken about some ongoing challenges faced by the biotechnology industry in the war against Covid-19. It is important to note that current biotechnology issues are handled with strategic realignment and robust Enterprise Resource Planning tools. An ERP system such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain enables biotech companies of all sizes to optimize their supply chains, mitigate costs on manual labor, avoid redundant efforts, automate billing cycles, and other enterprise-level processes.

Key Takeaways

These are challenging times for organizations in the Biotech and Life Sciences industry. They now, more than any other sector, continue to work at unprecedented speeds to help the world end this global crisis. Billions of lives are at stake, waiting anxiously for a solution to the ongoing pandemic. There are many challenges that the biotech sector needs to address from disrupted supply chains to the need for multi-layered coordination for clinical trials. With strategic intervention by strong leadership and the use of modern robust tools, these challenges and more, can all be overcome.

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About XcelPros

XcelPros is a Chicago-based company delivering transformation through technology. We offer business and technology solutions with deep industry experience in Chemical, Pharma, Life Sciences (including Medical Devices, Bio-Medical & Biotech), Insurance, Discrete Manufacturing, Process Manufacturing, Distribution and Food & Beverage.

XcelPros is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Direct Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and a Systems Integrator (SI) offering software licensing, implementation and consulting services for Microsoft Dynamics 365, CRM, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Business Intelligence & Analytics (Power BI), SharePoint, Office 365 and Azure (Cloud, IOT, Microsoft Flow amongst many others).

Our mission is to provide integrated technology solutions that amplify impact and empower our customer’s businesses. We believe technology is the key enabler of exponential growth for us and our customers.

Contact XcelPros today to transform your business.

Call us toll-free – 1.855.411.0585 (or) visit www.xcelpros.com