IDBS Blog | 7th April 2022

That's a Wrap for a Busy Q1, Here's What You May Have Missed


IDBS has moved its headquarters

It’s been a busy first quarter, particularly with the opening of our new headquarters in Woking, UK. This is an exciting milestone for IDBS and the opening celebration brought many of us face to face again for the first time in months, if not years. With this new space we look forward to bringing people together: our associates from around the globe, our customers and partners to collaborate on solving some of the greatest data challenges in research, development, and manufacturing

We are attending events in person again

We’ve started attending in-person events again and while footfall is lower than in years past it’s still invigorating to see and hear what’s happening in the industry directly from the speakers and participants. Some key themes being discussed around biopharma development include the need to remove roadblocks to innovation and break down silos, both from a data and cultural perspective, to facilitate collaboration. In his plenary keynote at BPI West, Jeffrey Baker, Senior Strategist at CBI and former Deputy Director, Office of Biotechnology Products, US FDA, called out the industry’s risk aversion and sole focus on accelerating time to market as factors that may be stifling innovation and reducing quality. While risk management requires a balanced approach, avoiding risks can result in lost opportunities to learn from mistakes that advance biopharma development and ultimately improve patient outcomes. 

This theme of risk-taking and collaboration was also reflected in a BPI West presentation by Christoph Herwig, Head of Biochemical Engineering at TU Vienna, Austria. Herwig described the need for diverse sets of contextualized data across development and manufacturing to support data science initiatives and highlighted the lack of variability in manufacturing data. Since the holy grail of manufacturing intelligence is the ability to predict problems before they occur, it’s clear that more insights into actual batch failures are needed to make this possible. 

Expanding partner networks

Partnering and expanding partner networks was another key theme throughout the quarter. Many of the questions from the audience during IDBS’ keynote at SmartLab Digital 2022, for example, were related to our partner network, particularly the LabVoice scientific voice assistant. This is a great example of how improving operational efficiency in the lab can simultaneously improve data quality. In the roundtable discussion on ‘How to Build a Solid Foundation for Advanced Analytics’, Penny Smee, Tech Director and Senior Product Owner at GSK, shared the challenges of defining comprehensive data models to ensure data is captured with the right context to enable future analytics such as comparing development data to commercial manufacturing data.

This is an industry-wide challenge as the lack of standardized data models stands in the way of progress towards agile, responsive partner networks with harmonized approaches across functional teams. And, as we outlined recently, there are other lessons to be learned from common implementation challenges that can help future-proof investments in digital technologies that span the biopharma lifecycle. 

Leading the way with the industry’s first end-to-end, cloud-based platform

These challenges and the need for a persistent, dynamic data backbone throughout the product lifecycle were at the heart of IDBS’ acquisition of Skyland Analytics last year. As demonstrated in this case study of a leading biotech, creating a single source of data truth across a diverse and expanding manufacturing network is essential to support tech transfer and ongoing process monitoring. By combining process development data management with manufacturing data management to create the industry’s first end-to-end, cloud-based platform, this BioPharma Lifecycle Management (BPLM) approach supports data flows across internal and external teams, sites, and partners, as well as up and down the process itself. Insights can be shared across teams to help design more scalable, robust, and higher yielding processes, reducing scale-up and tech transfer timelines. This is critical for Continued Process Verification (CPV) initiatives to increase process robustness and take corrective actions. 

Much more to come on this topic as we continue the discussions at key events in the US and Europe over the next few months. Matt Clifford, Director R&I Strategy, will be presenting on ‘Digital Strategies to Power Next-Generation R&I’ at BioIT World in Boston on May 4th, and Alberto Pascual, Director Data Science & Analytics, will be delivering a keynote presentation on ‘Building a Digital Data Backbone to Improve BioPharma Lifecycle Management’ at BPI Europe on May 19th.

Early registration is now open for IDBS i3 2022

Best of all, we look forward to sharing more customer success stories such as this at i3. Our annual conference for customers and prospects will be hosted remotely in June using a platform that maximizes learning, knowledge sharing, and networking. It’s the premier event to engage with IDBS, our partners, and industry experts and learn from some of the best minds in the industry. Designed to explore new ideas on how innovative technology helps you tackle today’s most complex data management and analytics challenges in research, development, and manufacturing, the agenda includes presentations, panel discussions, customer case studies, product demonstrations, and more. 

Register for i3 today!

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