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  1. Zenith Technologies
21 February 2017

A year when change brings opportunity

What will 2017 hold? Zenith Technologies has been looking forward to the future and discussing what its industry experts predict will happen.

This year is set to be important for the pharmaceutical industry, with the serialisation deadline for US companies approaching in November. The new laws of pharmaceutical serialisation demands that all licensed drug products have their own unique identifier. This presents a huge operational challenge for pharmaceutical companies worldwide, yet also brings a number of opportunities for business improvements.

Chief executive officer (CEO) at Zenith Technologies Joe Haugh says: "The life sciences sector is changing and we have good reason to be optimistic. Reform-driven drug price controls, patient centric care models, and the concept of value-based payment all place patients at the heart of drug development.

"Scientific and technological advancements are bringing new possibilities to the industry. Mobile technology, social media, and big data analytics are set to make an even greater impact in 2017, creating new ways to interact with patients and generate deeper levels of insight into treatments."

A key factor in driving greater productivity and flexibility this year will be the integration of data into the drug development and manufacturing process, all while ensuring data integrity. In many cases, manufacturing takes place across diverse facilities and geographic locations, creating new operational challenges. The trend towards gene therapies, live viruses, and personalised medicines also mean smaller batch sizes and the need for visibility across multiple lines and sites. By connecting and automating systems and processes, great value can be achieved and companies can future-proof their business.

However, with new automated systems comes an extra requirement: to support and maintain the technology. Without proper support, these systems will come to the end of their lifecycle ahead of time. This is why we expect to see greater adoption of the managed services model in 2017. The industry continues to suffer from an engineering skills gap and so third party support will be key.

We urge companies in the life sciences sector to be brave and bold with their IT decisions this year. The industry has been slow to adopt the cloud, however as developments such as serialisation and the globalisation of manufacturing sites make this a necessary consideration, Zenith expects its use to grow. The company looks forward to helping its customers navigate these changes and realise the benefits that technology can bring in 2017 and beyond.

The life science industry has a strong legacy in data collection and has been embracing Industry 4.0 methodology before the term existed.
The biopharma industry has experienced rapid expansion over the last three decades.
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