MarkLogic and eyeforpharma Report Finds Key to Future of Pharma R&D

November 19, 2019

Applied Clinical Trials

MarkLogic Corporation, the data platform provider for simplifying data integration, together with eyeforpharma, a hub for senior-level pharma executives, patient advocacy groups and other health experts, released a report of gathered insights from pharmaceutical leaders on how data challenges and data sharing will impact the future of patient care and healthcare costs.

Developed in collaboration with eyeforpharma, the report, “Defragmenting Data for the Future of Pharma R&D”, discusses why it is that even though innovation in pharma brings about faster time to insight-and thus faster time to market-only two percent of pharmaceutical industry executives consider their current levels of data sharing effective in bringing about critical innovation.

Key factors identified in the report as preventing pharma companies from sharing data include:

  • Piecemeal legacy data architectures that are rigid and difficult to use because they were not designed for current data needs.

  • Data sitting in multiple silos in multiple locations with differing standards and no harmonization, making it hard to access and analyze.

  • Data lakes that do not automatically enable an organization to curate or master data.

  • Google-style semantic searches of data that do not support complex medical expressions.

  • Cultural concerns such as patient privacy, GDPR, security, and trust.

Data inefficiencies not only present a barrier to sharing, collaboration, and the development of new knowledge, they also slow commercialization, delay new ventures, and hamper operational improvements, the report states.

“The fact that pharmacovigilance might want to link chemistry data to incidents, for example, is not something anyone will have thought of when that database was originally created,” states Philip Hajduk, Vice President of R&D Information Research at AbbVie. “The way they’re architected prohibits asking more questions about the data. In many cases, it is not clear how those inquiries would be made at all.”

Although pharma has been addressing data issues, change has been piecemeal while the

commercial urgency to respond at scale has become acute. 

“Silos in R&D in particular are holding pharma organizations back. They know that if taking a drug to market takes as long tomorrow as it does today, they will soon be out of business,” says Bill Fox, Vice President of Vertical Strategy and Global CSO Healthcare and Life Sciences at MarkLogic. 

Pharma data experts found that, when combined, massive volumes of data flowing in from clinical research and real-world environments can offer critical insights into disease, trials, and treatments. Based on insights from leaders at AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Janssen, MarkLogic, and Sanofi, the report outlines essential guidelines to realizing the potential of newly freed data, including:

  • Implementing new rules and governance around data quality, access, and what insights should be gathered.

  • Identifying the right pilot projects to build enthusiasm for deeper and broader data transformations.

  • Building new data capabilities and roles, particularly around data governance, quality management, and stewardship, among others.

  • Using a data hub framework, cloud computing, and a software subscription model rather than trying to adapt legacy infrastructure.

Freeing data from silos should also bring a new generation of analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning tools to radically democratize the process of innovation within pharma.