Contract research organizations (CROs) provide supportive research services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies through a contract agreement. They act as hired agents who carry out specific tasks on behalf of clinical trial sponsors who may hire more than one CRO for a given project. Usually, sponsors outsource clinical trial-related work to CROs because they have a dearth of resources and time or lack the expertise to conduct trials.
The market size for CROs in 2021 was $62.5 billion and is expected to reach a value of $122.7 billion by 2028. The demand for CROs has been fuelled by increased awareness of CROs and the benefits of outsourcing clinical research services. Changes in the diversification and complexity of clinical research are likely to fuel further growth of the CRO industry in the next decade. At the same time, increased competitiveness and other market forces will compel CROs to reinvent themselves so that they can stay ahead of the game. Laboratory Software for Contract Research Organizations, also known as Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), is a tool that can be leveraged by CROs to increase their competitive edge.
4 Ways Laboratory Software for Contract Research Organizations Can Help CROs Gain a Competitive Edge&Fast-Track Clinical Research
1. Increases Efficiency to Keep Up With Demand
CROs are constantly dealing with several sensitive data streams from single or multiple projects. It is their prerogative to ensure that samples and data being generated are managed within strict controls. Laboratory Software, or a LIMS, enables the automation of sample and data management processes which eliminates human error, increases efficiency, and boosts overall productivity. A LIMS serves as a vital bridge, seamlessly connecting with the full spectrum of instruments housed within a CRO’s facilities. This lays the foundation for a digitally transformed lab, ensuring unwavering data integrity throughout the entire process.
A LIMS also enables the integration of the CRO’s system with that of the client. This enables the system to be accessed remotely through multiple secure access points. With this, the CRO’s processes can be both seamless and efficient. Such a level of system-to-system communication requires a high level of sophistication in the LIMS. It is, therefore, important to partner with a LIMS provider who can offer such advanced capabilities.
2. Increases Reporting Flexibility
CROs often work with varied organizations that may have different reporting requirements based on specific regulatory standards. This can be difficult to keep up with unless you have a proper LIMS in place. A LIMS enables CROs to meet the divergent reporting needs of clients through an efficient automated process. The reporting requirements can be customized to run on demand. A LIMS further enables CROs to track key performance indicators (KPIs) in a bid to improve performance and boost customer confidence in the process.
3. Increases Cost Efficiency
In a highly competitive market, it is important that CROs minimize their expenditure so that the costs of their services can remain competitive. A cloud-hosted LIMS can help CROs achieve this goal.
A cloud-hosted SaaS offers several benefits towards cost saving. First, automation through LIMS decreases the number of human resources required. A cloud-hosted solution eliminates upfront costs in capital expenditure. Payments are subscription-based and CROs can pay as they go. A cloud solution also offers economies of scale, driving costs further down. Implementing a cloud-hosted Saas LIMS can help CROs maintain a competitive advantage on price without cutting back on profits.
4. Supports Real-time Collaboration
The nature of operations of CROs involves many partners, including clinical researchers, laboratory staff, clinical trial sponsors, regulatory bodies, and study participants, among others. These partners present varied expectations on data processed by the CRO. While the demands can be overwhelming, a cloud-hosted LIMS provides an overarching framework to ensure that all requirements are reasonably accommodated.
A LIMS for clinical research & trials provides customization and configuration options to allow CROs to adapt swiftly to the different requirements of project partners. It further enables remote collaboration among partners, which increases efficiency in the project. Researchers at different locations can share data as soon as it is generated so that data can be acted upon without wasting time. Clinical trial sponsors will be able to access clinical trial data remotely and give their feedback in real-time. A cloud-hosted laboratory software for contract research organizations brings all CRO partners to the same table and creates an ideal platform for collaboration, regardless of any geographical barriers.
CROs play an important supportive role in the discovery of new drugs, treatments, and medical devices to improve the quality of patients’ lives. This has spurred an increase in demand for CRO services in the last couple of years. At the same time, the market has become highly competitive due to an inflow of new entrants into the market. A cloud-hosted SaaS LIMS digitizes operations and increases the overall productivity of a CRO, allowing the CRO to thrive in spite of the stiff competition in the market.