How biopharma organisations can make drug development more cost-effective with the Power Platform

With the recent race for the Covid-19 vaccine, the world’s appreciation of the value of drug development, and the challenges that go with it, has never been higher.

Covid aside, this is a huge market and the rewards for the winners are substantial. But then so are the costs. $60 billion is spent on drug development each year, and the estimated average cost of bringing a drug to market (including drug failures) is now $2.6 billion—a 140 percent increase over the past ten years. 

Ultra-competitive market

The market has become increasingly competitive with every passing year. Biosimilars and biobetters threaten to dent the sales of new game-changing drugs even before patent protection has run out. More biologics drugs are being approved now than at any other time in the last 10 years. This is leading to even more intense competition between drugs that treat the same diseases.

Speed to market is crucial in any industry, but especially in biopharma. They say, nobody ever remembers who came second, and it invariably makes more commercial sense to be the first on the scene with a lesser product than second, even if your solution happens to be more effective. The formula is simple: the faster you can get your drug to market, the more time you will have to profit from it. But, more often than not, picking up the pace is easier said than done.

Defining speed and agility in biopharma

There are a number of factors that will help make you faster to market, but it all comes down to being flexible and adaptive to a changing business environment. Your organisation’s structure and processes need to be agile enough to take advantage of opportunities and respond to challenges rapidly. Even better if you can anticipate them.

While there is no magic pill for accelerating the process, drug developers can make a concerted effort to apply and integrate multiple innovations that can transform and accelerate development, creating a competitive advantage. It’s all about compressing timelines and achieving marginal gains, wherever possible.

As soon as a drug is in clinical development, accelerating its progress to market means conducting chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) activities to make a product ready for phase 3 as early as possible. Many companies are using previous experience to reduce process characterisation work and shorten the time frame and investment needed. 

There’s certainly not much wiggle room in terms of speeding up the clinical trial itself, but you can improve the efficiency of everything that surrounds it. 

Improving development processes

That’s why forward-thinking biopharma organisations are analysing their existing development processes to assess where improvements can be made. They are starting to implement single-use technologies to add speed, efficiency, and flexibility to process development and production, as well as machine learning and data science to enable faster and better-informed decision making.

So, for example, you might want to consider introducing digital and technology enablement that allows automation of highly repetitive processes, together with the generation of new insights and data.

You might also look at optimising your ways of working to make them more agile and responsive. This can be achieved by using specialist technologies in areas that would benefit from faster data analysis. Then there’s advanced analytics, including predictive modelling. This would be driven by real-time data, generated both inside and outside your organisation.

The Microsoft Power Platform can help you with all this. 

Microsoft Teams and the Power Platform in harmony

The Power Platform is an umbrella term for four different Microsoft products that add a valuable new dimension to your organization, and more specifically your Microsoft Teams solution. Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents enable you to uncover data insights in real-time, easily build new apps, automated workflows, and chatbots tailored to your individual business needs.

The platform enables you to build powerful end-to-end business solutions by connecting Power BI across the Microsoft Power Platform—and to Office 365, Dynamics 365, Azure, and hundreds of other apps—to drive innovation across your entire biopharma organisation. 

Power BI is a business intelligence and analytics service you can use to connect to hundreds of data sources to access real-time data and present this in easy-to-understand dashboards and reports, which can then be published into Microsoft Teams.

Make better decisions faster

Using Power Apps Portals will give remote colleagues and partners access to data collaboration based on a flexible authentication model and access rights to protect sensitive data.

Building learning models based on AI Builder allows employees to use artificial intelligence applications, better understand data, easily analyse large amounts of information and make decisions quickly. 

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents increases employee team satisfaction, lowers support costs, and increases productivity with AI capabilities. You can empower your employees with this easy-to-use solution for creating and managing virtual agents and bots.

The introduction of the Power Automate system has allowed employees to automate the execution of processes and provided the ability to seamlessly create intelligent automated flows. 

The accumulation of marginal gains

All these things help to make your processes faster and more efficient. Put them together and you have the opportunity to make a significant difference in your speed to market. Clinical trials, for example, depend on the prompt analysis and sharing of data with key stakeholders and this plays into the strengths of Microsoft Teams and the Power Platform.

When all processes, data, and documents are stored centrally in one place using Microsoft Azure Cloud with reliable, secure, global storage and computing services, communication and collaboration are seamless. Research teams can use a wide variety of specialised laboratories to conduct their experimental research. 

Using modern technologies, employees can now quickly connect to joint projects and interact remotely with colleagues. Remote access systems help manage the entire life cycle of projects and track the status of research and development stages. Proactive analysis of the data provides researchers with valuable information for making the right decisions at every stage of the study.

Artificial intelligence tools carry out all the necessary calculations, freeing specialists from both routine work and complex time-consuming calculations.

Specialists can evaluate processes, identify trends and quickly make the necessary decisions. Now you can simultaneously track the life cycle of several hundred projects, from research, development, and production to marketing, supply chain for patients, and analysis of application results.

Resonate can make it easy

Resonate is perfectly placed to help your biopharma organisation leverage existing investment in Microsoft 365 to accelerate your processes. M365 gives you Teams and Power Platform which, used in conjunction with Azure, provide the platform on which to build a totally flexible and scalable architecture that facilitates agile working practices.

Better still, Teams Voice can bring all your collaboration, including voice, onto a single platform that is fully accessible remotely. Combining this with PowerApps and PowerBI gives you the capability to boost efficiency and collaboration massively and contribute to agile working practices that will enable you to get products to market faster and more cost-effectively. 

If you would like to find out more about what Resonate could do for your pharma or biotech organisation, book a call with one of our sector specialists.

BioPharma _CTA

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