Accenture announced the launch of the Life Sciences Cloud for R&D, which is designed to speed clinical development, helps improve patient outcomes and creates greater research and development (R&D) efficiency through an analytics platform that brings together multiple internal and external data sources across clinical, safety, regulatory and operational functions.
The foundation of the Life Sciences Cloud for R&D is an alliance between Accenture and Oracle, built on a combination of Oracle’s expertise and experience in developing and hosting clinical data warehousing and analytics applications for life sciences, coupled with Accenture’s experience in service-based solutions.
In parallel with the Life Sciences Cloud for R&D platform, the company has formed a Life Sciences Cloud Coalition, which includes Eisai, Merck and Pfizer.
The aim of this group is to collaborate on bringing innovation to the Accenture Life Sciences Cloud (ALSC) and digitally enable the R&D function, speed up the drug development process while improving quality and cost for the industry.
"Like all of our best solutions, this one started with a client need. One of our clients made a strategic decision to externalize R&D, which prompted the need for a technology platform to aggregate and analyze data from a variety of sources," Kevin Julian, managing director of Accenture’s global accelerated research and development services group, told eWeek. "Accenture and Oracle partnered to address the client need, and the result of this collaboration laid the foundation of the Accenture Life Sciences Cloud."
The Life Sciences Cloud for R&D is part of the company’s Accelerated R&D Services division, a business service focused on building more efficient and effective R&D models, partnering with the industry from early clinical trials to regulatory approvals and throughout the product lifecycle.
"Today’s life sciences organizations are under ever-increasing pressure to improve productivity at less cost," Julian said. "Analytics help improve the quality and speed of critical decision making across the drug development life cycle. Big data and analytics enable improved speed and quality of R&D decision making, which reduces the amount of time it takes health products to get to market and improves the safety and efficacy of those products when they get there."
Key features include the data warehouse for gathering vital metrics to monitor clinical trial portfolios, manage vendor relationships and address any operational issues and an Information eXchange Hub to provide an integration and security layer to manage users, data sources, on-premise systems and other cloud providers to support a virtual, seamless aggregation of data.
Julian noted data security and integrity has been a priority since companies started using information technology to support R&D.
"These days, the chain of R&D data crosses many boundaries as it follows the long path from research bench to patient to regulatory authority – involving a variety of mobile devices, web-based collection tools, databases, external research partners, and offsite data centers along the way," he said. "In this context, cloud-based solutions like ALSC are just another link in the data security chain, following the same industry standards for physical and data security as any other. Specifically for ALSC we have been particularly thoughtful about our approach including partnering with a trusted hosting provider with significant experience serving this industry and utilizing approaches including private cloud."