Automation by Design
In today’s fast paced and ever evolving world of drug discovery and development, it is essential that investigative processes run as efficiently as possible. As current patents are expiring and regulatory requirements become stricter, the need for an increase in the number of quality potential drug compounds is high. By streamlining R&D processes through automation, research facilities could see a significant benefit in terms of time and cost, something which could be imperative to the timely development of new drugs to the market.
As a result of this need for highly streamlined processes, automation has become commonplace across the vast majority of research facilities within pharma and biotech. However, there has been a drive to change and further optimise workflows while decreasing associated costs, and with this has come a variety of new challenges that need to be met. Efficient, but cost-effective, future proofed automation solutions have over recent years become a requirement. As R&D processes evolve and become inherently different from one facility to the next, a customised automation solution may be the answer. By tailoring a bespoke automation system to meet the exact needs of each facility, efficiency and thus, productivity can be further increased. While users can be confident in the performance of the system, their time is also freed-up, allowing them to dedicate more resource to other projects.
Although the need for customised automation has remained reasonably stable, the amount of customisation being undertaken in-house has decreased. The shift towards using third party organisations for the development and customisation of automated solutions is indicative of the increasing need to outsource. It has been predicted that the monetary value pharmaceutical companies dedicate to outsourcing such tasks will almost double from figures seen in 2009 to that forecast in 201. This shift emphasises the importance of being able to tap into a source of expertise and a diverse skill set to enable to the development of a high quality end product. The externalization of such functions, particularly within R&D, has gained an increased level of importance in the pharmaceutical industry.
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