Part of a start-up with 650 researchers and collaborators, Idocia had a lot of work to do in June 2017 to achieve its plan to launch a commercial product within five years after a solid drug development process based on on its early clinical assets. Idosia is a spin-off from Actelion, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. The situation was made all the more difficult by the lack of a technology system or platform. She needed a partner to help her through the arduous research and development process and the multinational regulations she had to meet to launch a new drug.
“We started from scratch,” said Joseph Bezzani, CIO of Idocia, which chose Viva, an industrial cloud provider in the biotechnology sector, as a key partner. At the time, I had no choice but a cloud-based solution. Viva provided a solution that could easily handle a variety of areas we needed, from clinical development to quality control issues, from a single interface. »
He added that the industrial cloud has many other advantages. For example, Viva’s Life Sciences Cloud manages Idocia’s regulatory processes, sustainability processes, and business processes, while providing pre-built templates to meet US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements. .
Importantly, Idosia CIO mentioned that Viva’s knowledge base is evolving to encompass data from other customers such as big pharma giants Merck, Bayer and Kronos, which Idosia will use. He stressed the importance of being able to do so. The know-how and experience that Viva has gained from its entire customer base is a huge advantage for the new company, he added.
“Compliance is a key factor for our business. Industry knowledge is extremely important for a relatively small company like ours. We gain common knowledge from our industry,” he said, adding that Viva helps Edosia solve different regulatory issues in each country. “The Viva Cloud solution provides industry best practices,” he added.
focus on specific industries
There are hundreds of industry-specific “industrial clouds” developed by a variety of vendors, from hypervisors that support industry-specific solutions to consulting firms that create custom clouds for a handful of customers. These industrial clouds are often distinguished by the partnerships on which the solutions are based or by the execution-based cloud platform. Viva, for example, runs on Salesforce CRM.
Idosia CIO Bejani explained that there are two components in Idosia’s Viva Cloud. One for R&D and one for business needs. The time Idosia chose Viva was when the company’s first commercially available insomnia drug was in the final stages of clinical research. There were only nine months left to complete the research process and submit an application for FDA approval.
Bezani explained that Viva’s solution captures all essential data, including structure, artifacts and terminology, related to Idocia’s clinical business management and technology. “It then integrates with other native tools to capture all the data we use to submit the process to the FDA,” he said. There must be clearly defined chapters when submitting to the FDA, but these standard chapters are predefined in the files provided by Viva’s solution and other tools.
CIO Idocia said that although Idocia can build a solution based on Salesforce on its own, the added value offered by Viva is immeasurable.
Idosia is currently launching two products. These include an insomnia treatment launched in the United States, Italy and Germany, and another launched in Japan last year. Of the 10 products currently in clinical development, about half are in the late stages.
Bejani explained that his strategy and speed, along with the requirements for simplicity and durability, drove him to choose a cloud-based solution because he preferred a vendor with a large presence and industry knowledge.
Understanding complex markets
The industrial cloud market is already large and complex, with a variety of approaches and solutions. Consulting firms such as KPMG and Accenture have noted that there is no clear definition of what an industrial cloud is and that its components, services and technology stack are still evolving.
“The term itself is still being formed, but there’s probably no disagreement now that the industrial cloud uses cloud technology to solve problems specific to a particular industrial sector,” said Marcus Murph, US head of the cloud at KPMG. Murph said, for example, that Microsoft has an industrial cloud for financial solutions, but many companies use IBM for cloud financial services, and some financial companies have worked with NASDAQ to develop advanced solutions that include analytics and machine learning models.
To date, industrial cloud solutions have focused heavily on the fundamental aspects of doing business in the cloud, such as which workloads to migrate to the cloud, whether to move workloads to the cloud as is or whether to reorganize them in cloud native. apps from scratch.
However, Murph said some industrial clouds also offer industry-based tools, such as data models specific to different verticals, as well as solutions that address regulatory challenges and controls in different verticals, such as the shows Idosia’s Viva use case. Due to these attributes, industrial clouds are likely to require collaboration. “An industry-based cloud should be an ecosystem that connects different technologies and solves different problems,” says Murph. I don’t know if any one company can single-handedly dominate the industrial cloud.”
Ashley Skeem, head of global cloud-focused strategy and consulting at Accenture, emphasized that CIOs need to think strategically before choosing an existing industrial cloud solution or working with a partner to build a custom industrial cloud. According to him, it is a “process of changing the value chain” of products, solutions and services. This means more strategically re-examining technology stacks, orchestrating multiple data assets, and extracting value from data from multiple sources.
Skeim presented the example of Volkswagen building an automotive cloud platform by openly collaborating with various industries for supply chain integration. Skeim says the definition of an industrial cloud is “much more comprehensive across clouds than pre-built solutions, an ever-evolving ecosystem of standardized, reusable and interoperable digital assets. New products, new platforms and new experiences that drive differentiation and growth are the ultimate goal of the industrial cloud.”
In the case of Idosia, embracing the nascent but well-established cloud of the biotech industry has certainly turned R&D into a profitable business. It can be more difficult than the R&D itself. As CIO, Bejani is glad he didn’t try to do it alone.
“We could do it, but it would take a lot of time and money. Viva has already created solutions specific to the pharmaceutical industry, and Viva’s products include preconfigured workflows and terminology for the pharmaceutical industry. That said, the value proposition of leveraging an industrial cloud could be compelling for companies like Idosia, where the tech stack isn’t a key differentiator.