Pharmaceutical organizations happen to be rethinking their approach when it comes to the setup and operations of their labs, with an emphasis on speeding up digitalization, making the utmost use of AI, enhancing processes, and also building the right skills as well as culture for a lab transformation. The requirement so as to accelerate cycle times happens to be driving change, with the majority, 92% of pharma companies, listing this as one of the top drivers for future-ready next-gen labs . This is as per the Capgemini Research Institute’s latest report- Building the next-gen pharma lab: Digitally connected, environmentally sustainable, which goes on to explore the present state of pharma lab transformation, the issues that must be overcome, and the anticipated advantages when it comes to building a lab of the future.
Lab transformation initiatives happen to be on the rise
As per the research, the top drivers when it comes to lab transformation are the requirement for faster development in terms of innovative drugs, pressure so as to optimize costs, and the need to enhance drug approval rates. Because of this, pharma organizations are wanting to create more agile, efficient, collaborative, as well as sustainable labs so as to help them better take care of such challenges and also drive scientific breakthroughs.
Large  pharma organizations happen to be planning to more or less double their investment when it comes to lab transformation by 2025, to almost 7% of their revenue, which is up from 4% today. Almost 75% of pharma organizations have already gone on to start their lab modernization journey, whereas the rest happen to be planning their approach.
Global Life Sciences Industry Lead at Capgemini, Thorsten Rall, says that pharma companies in today’s scenario face wide-ranging global health issues, and a cutting-edge lab environment can enable them to meet the demands of the sector, thereby making vital medicines as well as drugs accessible at speed.
Backed by technology and continuously evolving when it comes to skills, processes, as well as infrastructure, next-gen labs are indeed crucial to speeding up the pace of breakthrough discoveries. The opportunity when it comes to organizations lies in the successful adoption of the latest technologies as well as developing a robust strategy by way of data and AI at its core, so as to unlock the total potential of their lab transformation. For those who happen to be creating and scaling the next-gen labs, the main element remains human-centric design, with scientists being positioned at the center of this process.
Most organizations are still advancing beyond the pilot phase of lab transformation
While the value of a connected, cutting-edge lab environment happen to be clear, most organizations are still advancing beyond the pilot and proof-of-concept- PoC phase. Just 1 in 10 organizations surveyed have either partially or fully scaled their lab transformation steps.
As pharma companies strive towards more digitized as well as modernized labs, they go on to face major challenges that happen to be related to data as well as technology, processes, and talent. Besides, diversifying into developing fresh, advanced, and innovative therapies goes on to pose problems as processes go on to become even more intricate. As per the report, most organizations rank data-related issues at 90% and process complexity at 92% as the main issues faced by labs.
Critically, the next-gen labs need professionals that have the right analytical skills to be able to dig out insights from the available data. But the vast majority, which is 97% of organizations, face the hurdle of hiring scientists with a domain mix along with digital and data expertise.
Leader organizations reaping the benefits already
While most organizations happen to be in the early stages of lab transformation, leaders  who are spearheading these endeavors are already reaping advantages at considerable scale, giving out decreased errors, higher rates of approvals, and optimized costs vis-à-vis beginners . Moreover, half of leaders have gone on to achieve an accelerated time so as to market through lab transformation measures, as compared to 23% of beginners.
Leaders are also getting to realize sustainability-related benefits, with almost 36% of these organizations seeing a reduction when it comes to carbon footprints because of lab modernization initiatives, as compared to just 18% of beginners.
The top drivers for lab transformation happen to be the need for faster development of innovative drugs, pressure so as to optimize costs, and the need to improve drug approval rates. Because of this, pharma organizations are wanting to create more agile, efficient, collaborative, as well as sustainable labs so as to help them better address these challenges and drive scientific breakthroughs.
It is well to be noted that for this report, the Capgemini Research Institute went on to survey more than 700 respondents within R&D, quality, as well as process development labs from 235 pharma as well as biotech organizations throughout the US, the UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, as well as India in October 2023. 85% of the surveyed organizations happen to have a yearly revenue of over $1 billion, and 15% of organizations happen to fall in the range of $500 million to $1 billion. The respondents happened to be at director level or above, spread across numerous functional areas, such as research and re-clinical trials, analytical method development, clinical trials, manufacturing process development, pharmacology and product safety, regulatory affairs, information and digital technology, data as well as analytics, and also innovation.
 Next-gen labs are labs which continuously evolve their technology, infrastructure, ways of working, skills, and culture.
 Large pharma organizations are defined as those with $10 billion or more in annual revenue.
 Leaders are those organizations that are strong on both “foundations” (such as tools, technologies, data, architecture, and connectivity) and “enablers” (such as vision, strategy, people, processes, culture, and skills) of lab transformation.
 Beginners are those organizations that fall behind on both “foundations” and “enablers” of lab transformation