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Data Is the New Oil for Drug Discovery Too

The demand and the pressure on the pharmaceutical companies have increased to discover the vaccine and the drug for the novel coronavirus. This also is the time to look back at the importance of R&D in pharma companies where is as important as manufacturing.

Experts believe that it is high time that pharma companies adapt to new ways in the R&D labs and upgrade using more technology and maintenance of data. Here are a few tips:

Upgrade the quality of R&D

Quality methods of research can transform the results. This is mostly because of data and analytics. Poor quality of research can create noise in data and the outcomes might get buried in there. Poor R&D makes decision making difficult as the noisy data can’t differentiate the facts properly. The whole exercise becomes a waste of work time, energy, resources and money. Apparently, poor quality of R&D has contributed 90% of failure rate of drug of candidates.

False Positives and False Negatives are equally important

What separates scientists and philosophers is that scientists are obsessed with false positives and always question their discoveries. A lopsided obsession with them can also prove to be destructive. With patients demanding faster drug development and access to experimental medicines, it can also pose risks to success and even harm health. On the other hand, a false negative is nothing but a missed discovery. The result might be the next life-saving drug that doesn’t get detected. It is essential that the R&D system gives equal importance to false negatives also.

R&D has to be all about getting data

Currently, many R&D engines think of data and software as an afterthought, as the mind is worrying to make a new drug and a new enzyme. Though that is true in theory, in reality, the entire day is spent in making and collecting data. While manufacturing data, all the best practices come along with it that include quality, efficiency, reusability, consistency, reliability, trust and continuous improvement. This can reduce failure rates in drug discovery to a high extent.

It is also essential to remember that the database has to be accurate, complete and will be there always. Experts have observed that a lot is data is of low quality and cannot be analyzed. The process of making complete, accurate and permanent data does not start with the IT, but at the process of collecting, which needs rework. This requires an industrialized approach to science.

The change in the pharma industry is rapid. There has been a creative and scientific approach to drug discovery. COVID-19 has especially given a boost to the change in the industry, with the increased use of technology and collaborations.

Meeta Ramnani
Meeta Ramnani
Meeta develops credible content about various markets based on deep research, opinions from experts and inputs from industry leaders. As the managing editor at Smart Industry News, she assures that every piece of news and article adds to the knowledge of decision makers. An avid bike rider, Meeta, is a postgraduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, where her specialization was Business Journalism. She carries experience from mainstream print media including The Times Group and Sakal Media Group.