Top information management trends for life sciences in 2024

The life sciences industry has seen monumental change over the past few years. From the Covid-19 pandemic to a spike in investment, coupled with rising…

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Robin Gellerman

November 30, 20235 minute read

The life sciences industry has seen monumental change over the past few years. From the Covid-19 pandemic to a spike in investment, coupled with rising inflation and economic instability, the industry has been drenched in uncertainty and unpredictability.

However, life sciences leaders remain optimistic about the year ahead.

Here are four trends that will continue to impact the industry in 2024.

Mergers and acquisitions will march on

As scientific breakthroughs, changing market dynamics and the demand for new approaches to medicine reshape the sector, pharmaceutical companies are redefining how they approach mergers and acquisitions. Sanofi, for example, is set to separate its consumer healthcare business to enable greater management focus and resource allocation to the needs of the biopharma business in support of R&D investments. M&As will shift towards smaller and more specialist deals with the spotlight firmly on personalized medicine, putting the consumer directly in the spotlight. This is a continuation of recent successful deals such as Merck’s $11 billion acquisition of Prometheus Biosciences to Pfizer’s $43 billion purchase of Seagen. These transactions highlight a continued market emphasis on expanding capabilities in specific areas such as immunology, oncology, and gene therapy, and we expect this trend to continue.

In equal importance, the approach to technology during these transactions holds a significant standing, as it can either enhance or deplete the value gained from an acquisition. Companies with well-managed IT departments supported by innovative technology, for example, will have a distinct advantage, as they can leverage information effectively with more document control to determine more profitable deals during the M&A process.

Venture capital investors will continue to carefully observe the industry, recognizing the potential for substantial returns on investments and the opportunity to support companies that will shape the future of healthcare. As the pharma landscape evolves, the role of venture capital investors will remain crucial in supporting innovation and driving positive change in the industry.

The adoption of artificial intelligence and generative-AI

As biopharma undergoes a digital transformation, the pharmaceuticals industry is expected to harness the power of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). In the past, large pharmaceutical companies have been criticized for being slow to embrace innovative technologies, however, with an expected $4.5 billion investment in the digital transformation of manufacturing facilities by 2030 and over $3 billion on AI by 2025, the pharma industry is set to turn to technology to personalize treatment, facilitate data handling and analytics to generate actionable insights and drive outcome-based care.

Let’s look at traditional drug discovery, a hugely time and cost exhaustive area, as an example of huge potential for AI. Typically, nine out of 10 new drugs in development will fail; it takes 10-12 years on average to produce a new drug; and it can cost more than $2bn to take a medicine from conception to regulatory approval. With AI technology, to smarten and speed up the work of clinical development by making faster decisions on a medicine’s potential by predicting drug efficacy, side effects, and more, cutting time and improving success rates. Moreover, AI has the potential to inform clinicians of what drugs not to pursue, focusing resources back on projects that are more promising, ultimately improving patient care in the long-term.

From lifesaving drugs discovery, manufacturing, clinical trials, drug target identification, diagnostic assistance, personalized treatment, and more – artificial intelligence in pharmaceutical has the potential to be a game-changer.

Moving to the cloud

In the past year, numerous life sciences companies have taken significant steps towards embracing a cloud-first approach to technology transformation. However, there exists a subset that still lacks a comprehensive grasp of the genuine value proposition offered by the cloud, let alone the methods to fully leverage its benefits.

Persisting use of outdated, disparate systems has resulted in siloed information, operational inefficiencies, and security vulnerabilities. These systems fall short in meeting the demands for seamless access to information and collaborative endeavors, regardless of time or location, and siloed information hinders insights, hurting innovation and efficiency. To optimize the advantages of cloud integration, supplementary elements of a cloud-first strategy must be integrated. These encompass cloud automation capable of scaling to meet critical business requirements, coupled with an integrated information management framework hosted on a flexible platform, enabling the extraction of invaluable insights spanning the entire spectrum from pipeline to patient. Ultimately, to accelerate life-saving therapies development, companies need to harmonize and integrate systems and applications to unlock their information’s full potential.

Cybersecurity is still a focus

It is imperative to acknowledge that cybersecurity will remain a pivotal challenge in 2024 with potential difficulties embedded in legal liabilities and regulatory penalties. To protect their organizations, the pharmaceutical industry is under mounting pressure to embrace a heightened importance on privacy and security, emphasizing a more stringent “zero trust” approach. This approach involves the systematic validation of every user and device, regardless of location or network, before granting access to sensitive data or systems. It acknowledges that trust should not be assumed, even within an organization’s perimeter, as threats like data breaches and ransomware attacks become more sophisticated and diverse. By adopting a “zero trust” approach and implementing robust security measures, businesses can significantly mitigate the potential damage from breaches and enhance their resilience in the face of cyber threats.

Learn more about how OpenText solutions for life sciences can help your organization.

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Robin Gellerman

Robin Gellerman is the Product Marketing Manager for Life Sciences Enterprise Content Management solutions at OpenText. With over 20 years in the enterprise content management industry, Robin has held a variety of product and industry marketing positions supporting document management, capture and customer communications technologies at OpenText, the Enterprise Content Division of EMC, Captiva and Document Sciences. Most recently, Robin was the Industry Strategist for retail, and has previously worked with energy & engineering and healthcare solutions.

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