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December 22, 2015
Highlights from the 6th Life Sciences Cloud Coalition Board Meeting
By: Jonathan Burr

Accenture recently met with the Life Sciences Cloud Coalition to discuss the future R&D roadmap and industry trends.

This week I’m excited to be reporting on the 6th Life Sciences Cloud Coalition board meeting, which took place at the GSK location at North Mymms Park, in Hertfordshire. Situated on the outskirts of London, the 14th century Jacobian manor house was the perfect location for this meeting, which featured open discussions around topics such as the Accenture Life Sciences Cloud for R&D (ALSC) roadmap, industry trends, planning, installation, innovation and governance.

On the eve of the meeting, the news release “GSK Selects Accenture’s Life Sciences Cloud for R&D to Simplify and Speed its Drug Development Process” went out to industry—news that proved to be a great foundation for the meeting.

The Accenture team and I were joined by a range of leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies including GSK, Merck, Eisai, Vertex, Pfizer, Bayer and Lilly. We also welcomed one of our Coalition founding members, Oracle, vendor partners, Veeva and Medidata, and two new additions, the VP of Clinical Systems Management and the VP IT Governance from Novo Nordisk in Denmark, one of our key clients in the region. And we were proud to host a guest speaker from McLaren Applied Technology, who gave an insightful presentation about new technologies in clinical development. The blend and diversity of Coalition members and participants truly reinforces the pre-competitive ethos of the group.

On Day 1, the group reaffirmed its intention of making ALSC an industry standard. Made up primarily of IT and technology representatives and business leads, the group’s passion for exchanging information, learning from others, sharing experiences, and building standards and processes to increase efficiency, crossed departments and company divisions.

From the beginning of the day, it was clear that the group agreed that 2016 will be the year to give the Coalition more visibility in the market. Frank Mueller, Marketing Senior Manager for Accenture Life Sciences, who joined us at the meeting, will work closely with the Board to give the Coalition its own identity. Frank will leverage many of the ideas that were generated around cementing the Coalition as a leading industry body to drive strong messaging into the industry through various channels.

The group also discussed the importance of member companies integrating ALSC into their respective business models. Leading the conversation around this, I appropriated the idea of business model integration as a Board objective to be achieved by the next meeting. The adoption of this objective will impact the Coalition significantly.

Day 1 wrapped up with a post-dinner conversation led by a guest speaker, Baroness Susan Greenfield C.B.E. With a neuro-science background, the Baroness has made her way through a varied and driven career to her current focus on dementia. The theme of her talk was technology—how it affects our neurological pathways and how these pathways are changing to fit the digital world we live in today. The Baroness has recently written a book, “The Mind Change,” which examines this in greater detail.

On Day 2, the group discussed the creation of business relevant messaging and acknowledged that more business representatives of potential new members should be encouraged to join the Coalition. The conversation focused on enriching the initiative by inviting new partners—including technology providers and CROs—to join the Coalition.

The day closed with an overview of the ALSC roadmap and the development of ALSC modules. This fed into a workshop with member representatives prioritizing capability areas and assessing platform capabilities alongside their own R&D IT roadmaps. The exercise was highly interactive and identified new capability needs to consider as we prioritize items to evolve the platform.

Ultimately, the meeting affirmed that the Accenture Life Sciences Cloud for R&D platform plays a key role in optimizing the drug development process, and that as technology evolves, the platform has the capacity to meet current needs and future expectations.

I look forward with enthusiasm to our next meeting, which will take place in June 2016, hosted by Vertex in Boston, MA.

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