Top 3 IT Issues the Biotechnology Industry is Facing
Nowadays, with everything being digitized, IT issues stand to pop up sooner rather than later, and depending on the industry, the effects could vary regarding severity. The IT issues the biotechnology industry is facing are undoubtedly ones which would have the most affect and this is why such a subject should not be taken lightly.
For a relatively new industry, there are a few IT issues it is currently facing and here are the three most important ones right now.
The Increasing Costs for Specialized IT Professionals
Like previously mentioned, biotechnology is a vast industry that is continuously evolving, and new challenges appear every day. Given this fact, finding the right IT professionals willing to work in this environment can be pretty hard, because they need to be compensated according to their workload.
Untrained IT departments concerning BioTech can make a massive difference to your company’s product or service.
Lack of Competent Personnel
While this IT issue is related to the higher costs for Biotechnology specialized personnel, it is still a self-standing problem. Trained staff in BioTech are still pretty hard to find because new industries take time to develop a market and to attract interest in working in such a unique and volatile domain.
Most IT people prefer to choose something more stable, and they usually pick an entrepreneurial route and want to workout in classic startups.
Continually Having to Change Protocols and Products
If you’re working in the Biotechnology industry, you’re accustomed to pressure, stress and a fast-paced environment. When it comes to regulations and protocols, IT is usually the first to be affected by changes, and this is where most IT issues appear. What you are working on today, may not be implemented tomorrow due to new IT regulations in your field.
It makes every process harder, slower and less productive, and it’s one of the critical IT issues facing BioTech today.
If you’re interested in focusing on your product or service, you should consider Managed Solution, the company that since its inception in 2002 has been committed to providing clients with a full spectrum of managed services for reducing the burden of day-to-day IT management.
Gain access to high-level cost-effective expertise and place resource-intensive operations under the management of experienced specialists from Managed Solution.
Biotechnology is a fast-changing constantly evolving industry and IT specialists have to stay up to date at any given moment in order to prevent and protect companies activating in this field from any issues that may appear.
If you’re interested in finding out more, be sure to take a look at the official Managed Solution website. Dedicated professionals are here to answer all your questions you may have about your company’s IT issues and how they can be solved in a fast and efficient way. It is always better to be prepared in the event of any unplanned IT issues, because preventing a problem is more efficient and less costly than fixing it.
Managed Solution had a great time at Biocom's You're the Expert, a live show using #comedy to make academic research more accessible & exciting!
"Biocom's You're the Expert Comedy Show was awesome! I love science and comedy so I was definitely their target audience." - Will Marchesano, Technology Evangelist & Consultant, Managed Solution
On Wednesday, October 28, 2015 Biocom hosted You're the Expert Comedy Show. You're the Expert is a live show, podcast, and new public radio program on Boston's WBUR that uses comedy to make academic research more accessible and exciting. Through games, sketches, and misguided guesses, a panel of hilarious comedians tried to get to the bottom of what a distinguished scientist does all day. Will Marchesano, along with other audience members enjoyed this live show and podcast taping, hosted and produced by Chris Duffy.
Case Study Video: Learn more about the powerful feature Illumina built on AWS that helps them store much larger blocks of data at a reasonable price in the cloud.
Biologists around the world use DNA sequencers created by California-based Illumina for a broad range of genomics applications including whole-genome sequencing. The company built its BaseSpace tool on AWS to allow researchers to upload massive data sets directly to the cloud for analysis and to store the results long-term with Amazon Glacier.
Case Study Video: See How Biotech Innovator Uses Cloud-Based Tools to Support New Drug Development
Moderna Therapeutics is a biotech company working to create new medicines through its revolutionary messenger RNA (mRNA) Therapeutics platform. It uses Microsoft Office 365 business productivity tools to build an agile, flexible, and collaborative ecosystem of Moderna teams and partners to accelerate innovation in mRNA research and development.
Founded in 2010, Moderna Therapeutics began as a company with a vision: create a new in vivo medicine using messenger RNA (mRNA) to teach human cells to create proteins that target diseased tissue. Placing eighth on the CNBC 2014 Disruptor 50 list, Moderna is poised to deliver a radical treatment modality that’s fast, scalable, and inexpensive.
“The beauty of using mRNA as a drug is the speed at which we can design a new mRNA therapeutic for a targeted protein,” says Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer at Moderna. “By replicating our basic methodology, we can scale quickly to target new diseases. Traditional drug development for pharmaceutical companies takes 10 years or more. And because the mRNA Therapeutic modality teaches the body how to make its own medicine, it’s inherently cost-effective.”
The Race to Save Lives
Fueled by the potential to unlock a new dimension of medical treatment for patients living with serious diseases, everything that happens at Moderna happens at “Moderna speed.” When the company chooses IT solutions, it looks for technology that enables the fast, agile, and collaborative scenarios that drive innovation and contribute to growth. That’s why Moderna uses Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based business productivity tools. “We’re innovating in the biotech space and we need to partner with innovators in the productivity space, which led us to Microsoft,” says Steven Frederick, Head of Enterprise IT at Moderna.
“We chose Office 365 because it supports what our fast-moving company needs to accomplish,” adds John Reynders, Chief Information Officer at Moderna. “We operate in a highly regulated environment and Microsoft has thought through privacy concerns and data security. Office 365 offers the right balance between flexibility and elasticity that allows us to scale quickly and collaborate globally, while giving us control of sensitive data around the world.”
Since it subscribed to Office 365 Enterprise E3 in 2013, Moderna has grown by a factor of four; opened two new facilities; forged partnerships with AstraZeneca and Alexion to develop new medicines in the areas of cardiology, oncology, and rare diseases, and founded its oncology-focused drug development subsidiary, Onkaido Therapeutics. Now it’s easy to add someone to the Moderna ecosystem using Office 365 ProPlus and Click-to-Run installation technology, enabling access to the latest version of Office on up to five PCs, Macs, and mobile devices per employee. “If we didn’t have a cloud-based approach powered by Office 365, we could never have moved this fast,” says Reynders.
Flexible Work Environments Improve Productivity
Everyone at Moderna uses Office 365 to improve their productivity and increase their contribution to the company, no matter where they are working or what device they are using. All employees are “heavy users” of Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, and they expect to access to their files anytime, anywhere.
“We do heavy-duty simulation and modeling in Excel, and we’d bottom-out the capabilities of other online solutions in less than a day,” says Reynders. “Using Office 365 ProPlus and OneDrive for Business generates mobility and productivity that’s light years ahead of working with Office files that are stuck on your office computer. Instead, we create documents on our laptops, iPads, or smartphones, and store them online so it’s easy to share critical insights. At Moderna, we can’t imagine working any other way.”
Scientists also use Microsoft Office Online for browser-based access to files stored in the cloud so they can edit documents simultaneously. “Office Online puts the flex in flexible!” says Reynders. “You don’t even need your computer. Using a browser, we share PowerPoint presentations, schedule meetings, and update documents. That level of agility helps us to work at Moderna speed.”
According to Bancel, collaboration is essential for innovation. Because working on the leading edge of science is fraught with unknowns, collaborating with many partners offsets the risk of traveling down the wrong path of inquiry.
“We have to make decisions about our product years before launch, without knowing what the regulatory, manufacturing, or competitive landscape will look like,” says Bancel. “So we are using Microsoft cloud tools to achieve that level of collaboration to optimize our products and beat the odds: In the drug development world, 90 percent of drugs fail.”
Moderna is building an ecosystem of strategic global partnerships using Office 365 to establish highly secure online collaboration with academic and business partners in less than a day. “We use SharePoint Online and integrate with Microsoft Azure to enable multifactor authentication,” says Reynders. “We can capitalize on a business opportunity with a new partner by setting up a secure SharePoint collaboration platform in just a few clicks. That’s not just collaboration, that’s a competitive advantage.”
Reliability Enables the Science
Office 365 functions as a reliable backdrop at Moderna that “enables the science” by allowing people to focus on their work. Scientists in the United States exchange ideas with colleagues in Europe and Asia through instant messages, or by escalating a phone call to an interactive video conference to share desktops and drawings. Instead of wasting time figuring out how to connect with colleagues, Moderna scientists spend their energy on exchanging ideas to come up with innovative new concepts.
”It doesn’t matter what you are doing, if communication and collaboration is not reliable, all the gears grind to a halt,” concludes Reynders. “Since moving to Office 365, we’re not worrying about the technology. Instead, we are focusing on enabling our vision to pioneer a new way to treat serious illness and make a difference in the world.”
Emerald Therapeutics wants to make life sciences research as easy as launching a new app. See how running experiments over the cloud is cost-competitive and far more time efficient.
A Biotech Lab in the Cloud, Backed by Peter Thiel
By Jeff Bercovici, San Francisco bureau chief, Inc. as written on Inc.com. The ECT-1. IMAGE:
Hardly a week goes by in Silicon Valley without someone launching a new food-delivery or ride-sharing app. Meanwhile, we're running out of antibiotics that work. What's going on here? Why is new drug development so comparatively torpid when app development is so torrid?
The founders of Emerald Therapeutics, D.J. Kleinbaum and Brian Frezza, think it comes down to the difficulty of running experiments in the life sciences. A typical new experiment takes a month to set up -- a month during which a scientist with a decade of education might find herself lugging around jugs of reagent or pipetting. And that's when nothing goes wrong.
"There are these major roadblocks to doing research that all involve the energy you have to sink into the lab itself," said Frezza on Tuesday evening, speaking at the opening of the new Emerald Cloud Laboratory in South San Francisco. The ECL is Frezza and Kleinbaum's solution to the friction they believe is holding back progress in their field.
Dubbed ECL-1, because it's intended to be the first of many, the gleaming warehouse-like space is filled with state-of-the-art instruments for DNA sequencing, gas chromatography, nuclear magnetic resonance and other standard types of experiments. It's also filled with robots that prep and carry out the trials, with minimal oversight from human operators. Thanks to the high degree of automation, a team of two or three technicians can carry out up to 50 experiments simultaneously. "It's all about each experiment being 'push a button, walk away,'" Kleinbaum said during a tour of the facility.
The protocols themselves are uploaded to ECL's servers remotely by clients. (Hence the "Cloud" part.) Frezza and Kleinbaum liken the arrangement to Amazon Web Services, which triggered an explosion in the number of new internet startups by removing the need to own one's own servers as a barrier to entry.
Running experiments over the cloud is cost-competitive and far more time efficient; in Emerald's old lab, average setup time was a mere 25 minutes. But it's also superior in terms of standardization and reproducibility, with the environment engineered to control for and measure a host of variables, from ambient air temperature to the length of rubber tubing, that often get overlooked. Capturing so much more data this way gives investigators what Kleinbaum calls "full computational closure," and it's a big part of the ECL's value proposition. "If we're asking people to experiment out of place and out of time, it's not enough to just give them an equivalent experience," he says. "We have to give them a richer experience."
If Kleinbaum and Frezza are sensitive to the needs of researchers, it's because it was in that role that they started Emerald Therapeutics in 2010. Attempting to raise funding for their effort to develop a novel therapy for persistent viral infections, the co-founders, who've been best friends since they grew up together in Philadelphia, were on the verge of giving up and heading back to the east coast when Peter Thiel personally persuaded them to stay in town. A few weeks later, his Founders Fund wrote them their first check. They've raised more than $13 million to date.
Work on their viral cure is ongoing but deep in stealth mode. Frezza says it will be perhaps a year before they're ready to talk about it publicly. Meanwhile, in the next 18 months they plan to invest another $7 million in the ECL, more than doubling the number of different experiments it's capable of carrying out.
High-risk security breaches and hacker attacks are making headline news in today’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Experts are warning biotechnology industries to beware of the data hit list because personal documents and records have been the primary focus of current attacks. Given the ever-changing nature of biotechnology industries and the massive quantities of data generated, it is imperative to stay ahead of the game. With data management coming under increasing focus, experts encourage industries to use the below tips when securing and managing data, which is crucial to the integrity of the industry.
A checklist including strategic planning, compliance, privacy and security will help industries successfully secure and manage data.
Compliance: Ensure you have a management system or professional service provider to perform data migration to prevent data leakage and the loss of privacy
Privacy & Security: Data is an organization's most valuable asset and must be easy to access by those who need it, but comply with all privacy and security obligations
Safeguarding Data: With life science researchers working around the globe, it is important to be able to share data quickly, easily and most importantly, securely. Effectively provide resources and solutions to get data into the hands of those who need it, when they need it, while ensuring all security precautions are taken to safeguard confidential data
Data Management Plan: Enforcing a comprehensive network security solution is imperative to provide real-time monitoring in case of a security breach. These methods will also confirm the integrity of an organization during data collection, exchange and analysis.
24/7 Strategic Monitoring Plan: Taking precautionary steps and proactively monitoring data 24/7 is the most effective way to prevent or detect a security breach before it occurs
Managed Solution provides 24/7 support and solutions to help life sciences clients meet compliance requirements, manage data and ensure security for day-to-day operations. Want to learn how Managed Solution can help you with your Biotech IT needs? Biotech Industry Resources Page
Call us at 800-550-3795 to speak with an adviser or fill out the contact form and an expert will contact you shortly.
Biotech: Drive Productivity with Universal Communication
Biotech firms often have researchers and staff members located around the globe. This makes face-to-face communication nearly impossible. How do companies overcome the associated geographical boundaries in an industry where collaboration and information sharing are key?
Biotech organizations must develop a company culture that leverages communication and collaboration technologies in order to remain competitive and bring products to market faster.
What if there was a tool that could increase productivity at every stage of the development cycle? Meet Microsoft Lync. This unified communication platform connects researchers, staff, partners and distributors through features such as instant messaging (IM), voice, video and telephony.
Benefits of a Unified Communication Strategy:
INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY – Access to team members and ease-of-use allow employees to communicate faster and better. For example, instead of waiting for an email response, employees can use the IM feature to see who is available for immediate response.
REDUCED COSTS – An all-in-one UC solution can reduce the cost of paying for multiple communication tools separately (or even travel costs). Additionally, the money saved as a result of being more productive is astounding.
EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION - Stay in touch anywhere and on any device. This allows for more flexibility in communication and provides the ability to connect with those outside of your organization.
Learn how biopharmaceutical companies, like Astra Zeneca, use Microsoft Lync to enhance communication, increase productivity and reduce costs within their organizations.