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July 07, 2015
Highlights from the Recent DIA 2015 51st Annual Meeting
By: Kevin Julian

Accenture executives speak about life sciences industry issues including the R&D landscape and the CDISC SHARE repository.​

I was thrilled to attend the recent DIA 2015 51st Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. This event brings together a global community of more than 7,000 life sciences professionals at all levels and across all disciplines with the common goal of fostering innovation that will lead to the development of safe and effective medical products and therapies for patients.

The DIA 2015 51st Annual Meeting provided:

  • A global unbiased platform to raise the level of discussion to facilitate innovation that will change the future of healthcare.

  • Comprehensive coverage of the full development and life cycle management of process for all healthcare products.

  • A holistic and integrated approach to the development life cycle management of regulated healthcare products.

For Accenture, this year was our biggest DIA ever, with a record five speakers presenting over the course of the week:

Striking a Balance Between Ethical Treatment and Impact on Nonclinical Safety and Animal Rule Efficacy Study Interpretation When Using Prophylactic or Supportive Care
Kenneth Westervelt led a well-attended session on drug and biological product development, including the types of prophylactic or supportive care provided during nonclinical safety studies, efficacy studies conducted under the Animal Rule and the challenges for interpreting such studies. Ken noted that the topics discussed, including designing these trials and ensuring meaningful data to support regulatory approval, were well received by the industry, academic and FDA colleagues attending.

CDISC SHARE Repository: Laying the Tracks and Building the Stations for this New Metadata Train
Kenneth Stoltzfus presented with Sam Hume, CDISC lead for the SHARE initiative, on how the CDISC SHARE Repository is changing the way our industry uses standards metadata for clinical trials.

Searching for the Gold Nuggets: Text Analysis in Clinical Data
Hanming Tu paired up with Timothy Kropp of the FDA to discuss approaches to performing analysis of free text reports submitted to a new drug application such as patient narratives, post market reports, patient reporting and others.

Knowledge Management for the Product Life Cycle
Kim Northam, presenting with Paige Kane of Pfizer, led a discussion on how knowledge management can complement change management in a company’s pharmaceutical quality system and as a key foundational basis for the use of prior knowledge in risk assessments in the design, development and maintenance of product quality.

How Pharmaceutical Companies and CROs Are Harnessing Big Data and Cloud Computing to Increase R&D Innovation, Efficiency, and Collaboration
Jessica Schell teamed up with Oracle for a presentation focused on Accenture Life Sciences Cloud’s expanded capabilities with Oracle Data Management Workbench. The session was well attended and was followed by a networking lunch in our suite with the Accenture and Oracle teams and the session attendees.

Why the Industry Needs to Rethink the R&D IT Paradigm
Jonathan Burr led this forum examining how an innovative partnership between several large organizations in the pharmaceutical industry is poised to re-shape, re-think and re-structure the R&D IT landscape by collaborating to change the way IT enables R&D. Jon’s forum provided attendees with a blueprint of the future of R&D IT systems and highlighted the Accenture Life Sciences Cloud solution. Panel members included ALSC Coalition member Sandy Tremps—Merck Global Leader, Clinical, Regulatory, and Safety IT—who discussed Merck’s ALSC implementation, and Jonathan Palmer of Oracle. The group fielded questions from attending companies including Amgen, Baxter, Gilead, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Mallinckrodt, Novo Nordisk and Shire.

Apart from these speaking opportunities, we were also one of the more than 400 exhibitors at the event. This year, in place of our usual booth, we were excited to offer a fully functioning business suite, providing a touchdown spot for our clients to recharge their phones and laptops, enjoy a break from the conference bustle and connect with our on-site team of clinical data, regulatory, technology and consulting offering leaders.

We also hosted a R&D Speakeasy themed networking event, turning the Renaissance Hotel’s Presidential Suite back to the roaring 20s, serving retro refreshments, seasonal food and beautiful views of DC. Colleagues from AbbVie, Allergan, Applied Proteomics, Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Beta Pharma, BI, BMS, Celgene, CDISC, Eli Lilly, Grünenthal GmbH, Merck, Novo Nordisk, Onyx Pharmaceutical, PPD, Radius, Reckitt Benckiser, Roche Molecular Systems, Shire, Theravance and more attended.

As usual, the DIA Annual Meeting provided an excellent opportunity to meet with people from around the world, share views and knowledge, network and build new relationships. I’d like to extend my grateful thanks to DIA for organizing such a valuable event.

To learn more about DIA or to see highlights of the event, visit the DIA website.

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