Thursday, 23 May 2024

Leveraging data intelligence for precision drug development

29 September 2023 | Opinion | By Hithaishi C Bhaskar

Sebastian Bather, General Manager, Asia and Japan at Veeva Systems shares further insights on data integration and interoperability in life sciences.

The life sciences industry is entering a digital renaissance. Organizations are increasingly exploring and investing in cloud-based data management of their crucial interdisciplinary assets, and bioscience/pharma companies are no different. It is crucial for life sciences companies to identify and provide relevant information to the right stakeholders. Consequently, a unified platform for the exchange, storage, and inquiry of content management, coupled with real-time intelligence could be an ideal transformation a growth-oriented life science organization can add in its strategies to strengthen the framework with key opinion leaders and stakeholders. Veeva Systems, a leader in cloud-based software for the global life sciences industry leverages its operating system ‘Veeva Development Cloud’ enabling organizations to drive end-to-end business processes by integrating applications for clinical, operational, regulatory, and compliance arenas. In order to meet the increasing global demand for quality healthcare and therapeutic products, Veeva's proprietary Vault Platform centralizes content and data across multiple divisions for greater efficiency and compliance.

On the occasion of 2023 Veeva Systems Summit in Singapore during mid-September, Sebastian Bather, General Manager, Asia and Japan, shared further insights into data integration and interoperability in life sciences with Biospectrum-Asia.

  • How is Veeva perceiving current trends, opportunities and market dynamics around pharmaceutical companies?

As the industry also becomes more competitive, pharmaceutical companies are becoming more innovative in their commercial launches to edge out the competition and stand out in an already-crowded market. This has presented a need for companies to shore up commercial strategies to better market their drugs to customers and healthcare professionals, and develop new high-value and hybrid engagement models when it comes to marketing newer precision drugs and therapies. 

With advancements in science, and with increased pressure from governments on rising healthcare costs, companies are aiming for high quality engagement, innovating their content, customer service and implementing a precision-based engagement mode. 

Veeva’s industry cloud solutions provide software, data and services to support the most critical functions of a life sciences organization from R&D through commercial. Our ecosystem of solutions brings together software, data and consulting services for successful commercial execution on a unified platform, driving efficiencies and productivity in areas where ways of working are traditionally siloed and fragmented.

To support go-to-market precision and the education of physicians on new therapies, Veeva empowers our partners with the right data and builds internal capabilities in digital, data, and analytics. We also accelerate the discovery engine, helping pharma hasten the drug development process and reducing the time to market to meet unmet needs for patients.  


  • As the Industry Cloud solution for Life Sciences, how does Veeva support most critical functions from R&D to commercialization in Asia?

Life sciences companies in Asia are innovating more effectively, accelerating operations to develop new drugs and therapies through Veeva's vital functions at every stage of the drug development process. Bringing products to market faster, safer, and more efficiently will benefit companies of all sizes, from smaller domestic biotechs to larger international pharmaceutical organizations. In particular, we help emerging biotechs establish a global footprint with clinical trials, especially at the early stage where they may need more support. In particular, our ecosystem of solutions enable the companies we work with to drive excellence with the right data and tools in the new commercial go-to-market (GTM) model. 

Currently, we work with over 30 domestic biotech companies in Korea such as Samsung Biologics, LG Chemicals, SK Bioscience, Daewoong and GC Biopharma to further the growing life sciences industry within the market.  

Additionally, Veeva is working with over 110 customers in China in both the areas of R&D and commercial, including a range of domestic life sciences organizations and large MNCs. We also work with over 80 life sciences organizations in Japan, including over 20 domestic pharmaceutical companies. 

While the needs of a life sciences organization may differ depending on its size, there are several parallel core competencies regardless of whether the company is a multinational corporation or a small biotech startup. Such competencies include planning, engagement with Healthcare Professionals (HCPs), coordination between sales, medical and marketing teams, design of tailored content and optimizing ways of working to maximize productivity and efficiency.

Veeva’s solutions are developed with the end goal of supporting the critical functions of the life sciences industry, so that companies of all sizes, from smaller biotechs to larger pharmaceutical organizations, can bring products to market faster, safer, and more efficiently. Since our applications are modular, customers can start with one application area and add more solutions as they grow, with its solutions tailored to suit their needs as they scale up.


  • What are the recent objectives outlined by Veeva to break down competitive barriers within the life sciences industry?

In 2021, Veeva Systems officially became a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC). With this, we became the first technology company supporting life sciences to transition to a PBC and we were also the first publicly traded corporation in any industry to make that move.

A key objective of Veeva's public benefit mission is to create high-quality employment opportunities in the communities it serves through its products and services. As a PBC, Veeva is guided by its core values “excellence, integrity, consumer success, and speed” to help the life sciences industry improve healthcare deliveries. By creating high-quality jobs, we benefit our employees and communities. Aligned with this, we not only operate as a for-profit company, but also pursue a public benefit purpose that is listed in our certificate of incorporation, which can only be changed by shareholder vote, and is intended to provide societal benefits beyond just shareholder financial returns. 

Veeva’s role as a PBC cements our accountability to stakeholders as a strategic technology partner to the life sciences industry, supporting the industry’s broad mission to optimize health.

As part of Veeva's PBC objectives, pharma and life science organizations can count on Veeva to deliver positive ROI over the long term and create a positive impact on the industry by improving efficiency, innovation, and effectiveness.


  • How is Veeva enhancing clinical research sites efficiency by seamlessly connecting sponsors, CROs and patients under a single ecosystem without complex integrations?

To make clinical trials more efficient and accessible to patients, Veeva provides Veeva “SiteVault” for free, as part of our mission as a PBC.  SiteVault is part of the Veeva Clinical Platform, a solution that connects sites, sponsors, and patients on a single technology ecosystem to make clinical trials more efficient and improve patient participation.

In order to conduct clinical trials successfully, sites must have access to affordable and controlled technology. SiteVault provides the only cost-free solution connecting sites to clinical research sites to sponsors and Clinical Research Organizations (CROs) without complex integrations and without sacrificing data privacy, security, or control, enabling users to manage eRegulatory, consent patients, and exchange information - across sponsors and CROs - in single, site-owned system.  There are now over 5000 sites across more than 80 countries leveraging Veeva SiteVault to work across sponsors and manage studies.


  • How Veeva helps to accelerate the R&D innovation in clinical and pharmaceutical lifecycle?

Veeva development cloud offers solutions across the full product lifecycle for new drug and therapy development. A key part of Veeva’s USP for clinical trials is its ability to eliminate data and processing silos across the clinical, quality, regulatory and safety functions of a clinical research organization, offering a holistic and personalized approach to innovation.

CROs work with various organizations for innovation and technology at every stage of the product life cycle. Veeva helps make this process streamlined by avoiding the issue of too many vendors, which may make the drug development process costly and inefficient.  

With our solutions, we enable a unified platform for life sciences organizations of various sizes looking to push new life saving therapies and medicines into the market, driving efficiencies and delivering business value. Each of our product platforms integrate seamlessly and transfer data and documents in a much more efficient manner compared to legacy systems, automating manual administrative tasks and providing greater visibility across the clinical trial process. We limit our customization to the absolute necessary in order to make implementation of our solutions as cost efficient and seamless as possible. 

Veeva’s solutions also standardize common training curricula, providing visibility into training status and completion before trials commence. CROs can now easily monitor performance to ensure compliance from trial start to conduct, ensuring that the research process is safer and more efficient.  

As trial complexity increases, so does the need for modern electronic data capture systems, which should be designed for agility and efficiency.  Veeva Vault EDC, which is part of Veeva’s Vault Clinical Data Management Suite, brings new innovations to capturing and reviewing clinical trial data.

It allows CROs to design and build studies faster, and obtain cleaner data with less effort. They are also able to run complex trials with no downtime, and this integrates seamlessly with other Veeva products that support decentralized clinical trials, thereby accelerating R&D innovation.


  • How Veeva contributes to the digital transformation journey in the bioscience landscape? 

The pharma industry for years has leveraged applications which operate in silos. The need for R&D productivity and efficiency is driving the need for a unified and efficient system. As more life sciences companies consider moving to the cloud, it is important to acknowledge that the migration from an existing proprietary or legacy system to a newer, more optimized system hosted on cloud is a process. Hence it is essential to adopt efficient software implementation to restructure and upgrade operational frameworks in order to integrate next generation capabilities which play an essential role in strategic execution. 

Veeva enables the life sciences industry with the right data, analytics and industry-leading insights that can inform their strategic commercial execution. Our unique data assets and high-quality reference data empowers companies to make informed decisions through data-derived insights. Veeva’s deep-rooted industry analytics contribute critically to the transformation and implement revolutionary cloud-based solutions for life sciences to ensure commercial excellence. 

Hithaishi Bhaskar

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