Outpacing the Pace of Change
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Outpacing the Pace of Change

By Peter Gassner, Co-Founder & CEO, Veeva Systems [NYSE:VEEV]

Peter Gassner, Co-Founder & CEO, Veeva Systems [NYSE:VEEV]

It was the morning of 9th September 2019, the inaugural day of the “2019 Veeva R&D Summit”—an annual gathering of over 1,600 pharma, biotech, medical device, and clinical research leaders—in Philadelphia. Addressing the crowd inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Peter Gassner, the co-founder and CEO of Veeva Systems [NYSE: VEEV], kick-started the annual event. “We want to do our part to help the life sciences industries get together to serve our shared customers—the patients—better,” he said, reaffirmingVeeva’s mission to the present dignitaries.

While on stage, Gassner also recalled his entrepreneurial journey. From a very early stage, he understood the critical role that discoveries in the life sciences industry can play in improving the overall healthcare system. Thus, since the inception of Veeva in 2012, his company has been building arguably the most comprehensive and integrated suite of cloud applications to help pharmaceutical companies—and, in extension, the healthcare community—to navigate through the industry changes better. The result: it helped in significantly increasing business agility, speeding time-to-market of critical medicines, and better meet regulatory requirements. Needless to say, such a novel initiative helped Veeva establish itself at the helm of many recent innovations in the life sciences and drug development sector.

"We will continue to help biopharma and life sciences companies in their journey to improve and extend human life, and that’s a very personal thing"

Gassner’s keynote speech further elaborated that the life sciences and drug development industries are now experiencing unprecedented innovation, especially in regenerative sciences, gene editing, and immunoncology. Improved access to information and advanced analytics are enabling drug developers and pathologists to target diseases like never before. However, as science is becoming more complex, it is also presenting obstacles with increasing cost and time. These obstacles include challenges of managing the deluge of information, along with changes in systems and processes. While it is relatively more straightforward for smaller biotech companies to adopt new technologies and mitigate these challenges, given their agile framework, it is quite not the case with large organizations. Deeply entrenched in the legacy systems, these pharmaceutical companies often resort to paper-based solutions or off-the-shelf software to suit their specific operational requirements. And neither of these solutions are completely fool-proof or cost-effective. Besides, the constant change in regulations from time to time potentially requires regular upgrades in the methods employed by pharmaceutical companies. For legacy biopharma companies to bridge this gap between antiquated operations and the digitally-driven operations of the future, Veeva is envisioning a ‘modular development cloud’ operating system. The modular nature of this development cloud would let clients start modernizing specific areas of need first, and then expand from there, instead of a sudden, unplanned digital upheaval.

A Glimpse inside Veeva’s Modular Development Cloud

Keeping up with this innovative momentum of the event, the CEO went on to introduce some of the upcoming solutions in the Veeva Vault. The extended roster now includes applications such as Veeva Vault Safety. AI, an AI-driven application for pharmacovigilance to automate case intake, and Veeva SiteVault Free, a free e-regulatory application built specifically for clinical research sites to speed study activation and improve investigator site file management. The other two critical announcements of the event were MyVeeva and Veeva Data Cloud. While MyVeeva’s goal is to enable clinical research sites to interact remotely with their patients, Veeva Data Cloud’s purpose is to store and deliver large-scale patient data and analytics. Veeva Data Cloud’s longitudinal patient and prescriber data solution for the U.S. market is expected to be available by December 2020. “We will continue to help biopharma and life sciences companies in their journey to improve and extend human life, and that’s a very personal thing,” Gassner added.

With these latest additions, Veeva Development Cloud now includes 18 unified and connected applications that help life sciences companies efficiently tackle clinical data management, clinical operations, quality, regulatory, and drug safety, spanning R&D through commercial distribution. What’s more, these platforms are built with significant feedback from users to ensure that unique industry needs are met. They can, therefore, act as the critical building blocks of a hassle-free interconnection between different departments within a company and industries, all the way through CROs, research sites, patients, and hospitals.

When Execution is the Linchpin of Leadership

Notably, since the conclusion of the 2019 Veeva R&D Summit, most of these solutions and enhancements of the existing applications are already made available to more than 700 customers that Veeva serves in the biopharma sector. While MyVeeva and Veeva Data Cloud have shown their capabilities in remote facility and trial monitoring initiatives, another widely used Veeva solution is Veeva Vault Site Connect.

Sponsors and clinical research sites can use this application during trials to streamline information on crucial trial processes, including feasibility, study document exchange, safety letter distribution, and subject status for faster study execution. It automates the flow of information between Vault Clinical applications used by sponsors and Veeva SiteVault. And with the proven benefits of Veeva in mind, there is now a growing momentum for Veeva Vault CDMS amongst emerging biopharma and CROs to build studies faster and improve efficiency across clinical teams.

Digital Collaboration in the Time of COVID-19

The recent COVID-19 crisis is, by and large, generating a more substantial tailwind for Veeva as leading drugmakers are scrambling to develop treatments and vaccines. With many site monitors now restricted to their homes, sponsors are reassessing new ways to share information and collaborate virtually. As a result, trial sites and sponsors are exploring the potential of remote monitoring solutions. Moreover, considering many pharmaceutical companies are working together to find a cure for the pandemic, seamless collaboration is necessary. Rising to this challenge, Veeva has been making consistent efforts to support industry collaborations in life sciences. Veeva’s cloud solution suite and its employees are battle-footing to ensure operational continuity for its global customers with zero interruptions.

Vault CTMS is helping companies manage clinical trials and process management for developing new COVID-19 treatment within the range of available Vault customizable suites. It is also gearing up to be an industry-leading software solution as regulatory demands are constantly shifting for biotech companies during the pandemic. MyVeeva and Veeva Data Cloud are also being extensively used for clinical trial studies, even in the middle of a global lockdown. These applications are facilitating virtual visits to clinical research sites along with functionalities such as patient adherence, ePRO, eConsent, eSource, and patient visits to ensure uninterrupted clinical trials. Simultaneously, Veeva SiteVault Free is now offering remote monitoring capabilities to clients free of cost. According to Gassner, it is not just the zero-dollar price tag but also its functionality and benefits that is fuelling the popularity of Veeva SiteVault Free.

Paving Way for the Future Innovations

Moving ahead with such pivotal grace, Veeva is poised to continue proving itself as a game-changer for the life sciences and drug development industries. Veevais building deep relationships with its customers and also investing in resources to participate in a variety of development committees and industry associations groups. These partnerships will help Veeva keep pace with new regulations and best practices.

"We want to do our part to help the life sciences industries get together to serve our shared customers— the patients— better"

Recently, Veeva has also announced industry collaborations to expedite the shift to digital engagement. Together with Accenture, Deloitte, and other industry partners, Veeva Systems is now laser-focused to help life sciences companies develop and deploy new digital engagement strategies. The upcoming digital field engagement offering will help the industry utilize digital channels such as remote meetings, virtual events, and email as the primary way for field reps to connect with healthcare professionals. And, as Veeva moves forward, the company will continue to invest in building purpose-built unified and connected suites of applications to lead the biopharma industry forward as a strategic partner.

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