Leveraging The Cloud To Accelerate Time To Treatment

One of the greatest challenges facing the life sciences industry is the cost and length of time it takes to bring a therapy from discovery to commercialization. This is due, in large part, to the use of aging, disparate systems that have simply digitized manual processes. To enhance efficiencies in the drug development process, PAREXEL recently entered a technology alliance with Microsoft and this week, we launched the first offering of the alliance, Perceptive® Cloud. Perceptive Cloud elevates PAREXEL’s valued Informatics solutions into an enhanced cloud infrastructure built on Microsoft Azure. With this we are combining PAREXEL’s extensive industry expertise and innovative technology solutions with the power of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud services and investment in global compliance certifications and enterprise-grade infrastructure and security.  In this blog post, I’d like to share some further details about this new offering, and explain why cloud-based technologies are so important to the industry today.

The explosion of data is rapidly changing many industries, including healthcare and life sciences, drug discovery and development. However, while we have more information about development candidates and research programs than ever before, the time to treatment continues to grow longer. 

To see real change, we must go beyond just collecting data to derive real insights. This is a challenge when that data sits across disparate systems, far-reaching geographies and organizational boundaries.

Through a shared data platform built on a cloud computing model PAREXEL can enable efficiencies while also addressing the significant privacy, security and compliance challenges that the pharmaceutical industry faces. PAREXEL’s Informatics solutions, coupled with Microsoft’s intelligent cloud services and investment in global compliance certifications and enterprise-grade security, have the potential to deliver true digital transformation for life science clients and bring much-needed treatments to patients who need them sooner.

From my personal experience working at large life science organizations, I understand the challenge organizations face balancing the demands of drug discovery and development, manufacturing, marketing, selling and distribution. For a life science company, the need to build and manage internal technology infrastructure, an important but non-differentiating capability, can be considered a distraction from the mission of developing therapies that improve human health.

That’s where the cloud comes in. There are significant untapped opportunities for life science companies to leverage cloud-based services to not just store information but to improve processes and drive efficiencies. Researchers can leverage tools to guide programs, and design and define protocols. One of the biggest opportunities for the industry to improve drug development efficiency lies in automation. Artificial intelligence can help researchers reach across disparate systems, geographies, and across siloed organizations or departments within and between collaborating companies to engage with the right experts, adapt and refine experiments, analyze findings and facilitate appropriate reporting of results.

The move to the cloud is also anticipated to improve researcher’s confidence in their ability to assemble high quality datasets and improve decision making.  Today, in the simplest example, the same data about a patient – e.g. the height and weight – may be entered into a system by many different people at different touchpoints in disparate systems. This undoubtedly results in an increase in opportunities for simple typographical errors – the addition of an extra zero in a weight for example. Cloud-based systems will aim to look across those data points for coherence and flag outliers or potential errors. In the very near future, smart workflows augmented by artificial intelligence may be used to detect signals in new ways across multiple types of data and provide new insights.

We will also soon be able to leverage the cloud to aggregate clinical and real-world data so researchers can analyze across datasets and identify new insights. Operational algorithms will be able to process huge amounts of data to help biopharmaceutical companies not only identify bottlenecks but also improve product profiles by identifying the attributes that provide the most value for patients and payers.

PAREXEL is prepared to lead this journey with our clients and we are taking the first step with the launch of Perceptive® Cloud. With this solution PAREXEL aims to deliver its portfolio of Informatics solutions on the Microsoft Azure cloud architecture.  The first group of integrated cloud services will include LIQUENT InSight® Regulatory Information Management (RIM), Study Start-Up, DataLabs® Electronic Data Capture (EDC), Managed Access Programs, and IMPACT® Clinical Trial Management (CTMS). By migrating PAREXEL Informatics’ technologies and solutions to the Perceptive Cloud, our clients will be able to access more meaningful data-driven insights and critical intelligence to make better informed decisions and accelerate drug development.

Paul Bidez, Ph.D. Vice President of Regulatory and Clinical Solutions

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