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Posted on: August 16-2018 | By : Shailesh Gadhave | In: Digital Age,Digital Solutions,Life Sciences,Pharmaceuticals and Biotech | No Comments

The life sciences industry today is undergoing a wave of disruption, with biopharmaceutical companies embracing potential new ways to deliver a value-based model over volume by developing specialty products in target segments.

This wave of change is due to the fact that science and business operations are becoming increasingly complex, competitive and global — with companies attempting to make a comprehensive impact in this highly competitive marketplace. With increasingly complex development processes and soaring research and development (R&D) investments, stakeholders (business, end users, investigators, etc.) are looking for a more robust, reliable and reproducible approach to bringing personalized products to the market.

Even though the digital technology exists today to optimize the entire R&D value chain, adoption is low — especially in clinical trials segment — because of factors like complexity, resource-intensiveness, changing regulatory dynamics and lengthy implementations. However, while these factors may seem like an argument against implementation, the rewards are worth the effort.

As industry leaders move towards adopting personalized medicine and a patient-centric approach, it is increasingly important for clinical development enterprises to gain access to the growing volumes of patient historical data, real-world evidence, genomic profiles and emerging research to meet sponsor expectations. Harnessing this data can help investigators get a 360º view of patient performance and demonstrate the true value of new treatments to key stakeholders for effective market access.

Digital technologies can transform how companies approach clinical trial management, by enabling them to access a wealth of information from different data sources, improve patient enrollment and trial experience, capture real-time data insights and improve the quality of data collected during trials. Collectively, this can help achieve the following clinical objectives:

  • Expedite patient enrollment and retention by mining unstructured patient health data and identifying the right patient-trial match

  • Enhance patient trial experience to transform subject onboarding, trial understanding and helping set realistic expectations

  • Build an integrated trial management platform that can capture, integrate and analyze complex data during trials

  • Manage / regulate multiple sites and trace performance using advanced analytics and visualizations, enabling early intervention or shutdown of non-performing sites

  • Effectively manage stakeholder expectations and performance delivery

In our opinion, adopting digital technologies is an imperative strategy for clinical development enterprises. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced analytics are empowering CROs to reduce cost, integrate trial management, establish a tighter control, enable smart manual intervention, deliver quality outcomes and reproduce results in multiple scenarios.

In upcoming posts, we will further explore this promising synergy between technology and science to advance innovation in medicine. Stay tuned!

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Shailesh Gadhave
Shailesh is a post-graduate candidate in Marketing-Life Sciences with passion for developing novel...

Posted on: March 26-2018 | By : Sourav Gupta | In: Industries,Life Sciences | No Comments

The journey so far

Year 2017 was a learning phase for the Medical Device industry. With the official launch of the European Medical Device Regulations (EU MDR 2017/745) and European In-Vitro Diagnostic Regulations (EU IVDR 2017/746), many medical device and in-vitro diagnostic companies faced uncertainty and confusion over the new requirements, as well as risks and challenges to their business.

With few exceptions, I have seen most large manufacturers establish a program management (PMO) team and roping in top management consulting companies to help determine the impact on their business and revenues. Small and mid-size companies are working with regulatory consultants to understand the new requirements.

The second half of the last year was mostly spent on awareness sessions, workshops, gap assessment pilots and budget planning. I have spoken to many program directors to understand their strategy, budget and plan for the next two to three years, and led or participated in many knowledge sessions and workgroups. I have learned a great deal so far, and hope to share some of that with you today.

Key Lessons

  1. Simplify program management by creating a 360° view dashboard for each product family. This dashboard should include parameters like revenue, markets, risks, technical files, labels/IFUs, authorized representative, notified body, manufacturing sites, economic operators, QMS, etc., along with your key stakeholders from various functions.

  2. Remove redundancy and organize technical files and design dossiers for each product family in a centralized repository.

  3. Digitize high-value legacy records and technical documents for gap assessment, inspection readiness and easy availability.

  4. Plan ahead for your organization-wide implementation or upgrade to QMS ISO EN 13485:2016, MEDDEV 2.7.1 rev.4, UDI, eIFU Website (Content Management Framework).

  5. Prioritize the remediation of technical files for products with high business impact and complexity.

  6. Evaluate and onboard service providers early in the program to improve the success rate and on-time completion.

  7. Build an agile platform that enables internal and external stakeholders to engage and collaborate on a day-to-day basis.

  8. Implement tools and accelerators to improve visibility, tracking, quality and productivity across workstream projects and your overall program.

Key Lessons

While the industry is waiting for the re-designation of the Notified Bodies, most manufacturers have completed the impact and gap assessment of key technical files and are currently planning for technical file remediation. Keep in mind that if you have a high volume of technical documents, or they are complex, in legacy formats, or not well-controlled or documented under the same product family, remediation will require much more advance planning.

Key considerations for technical file remediation

  • Create/ update SOPs

  • Prepare quality plans for technical files and design history files (DHF)

  • Plan cross-functional work streams for document remediation

  • Identify critical success factors, risks and challenges

  • Develop a detailed checklist to review technical files

Reformatting GHTF
Summary Technical
Documentation (STED)
  • Update formats (GHTF/SG1/N011:2008 for medical devices; GHTF/SG1/N063:2011 for in-vitro diagnostic devices) to align with the new requirements

  • Format documents into paginated and fully searchable PDF files

  • Devise a logical numbering for files (e.g. Part 1 of x, Part 2 of x… Part x of x)

  • Bookmark GHTF STED sections with clear document references

  • Write technical files in an official language of the member state where procedures are carried out, or the language accepted by the Notified Body. English is recommended for all audit-related documents.

  • Use digital signatures or scanned signature pages where signatures are required

  • Make the technical documentation a pointer document

General Safety
and Performance Requirements
  • Update the Essential Requirement Checklist (ERC) and map to the new requirements

  • Mention relevant standards “State of the Art” assessments (fully or partially applied)

  • Provide reference to harmonized standards and justification if not applicable

  • Look for objective evidence to support conformity, linking and bookmarks to relevant documents

Declaration of Conformity
  • Ensure the product list in the technical documentation matches the DOC

  • Sign a new Declaration of Conformity


It requires extremely careful planning and monitoring of different workstreams to successfully remediate technical files. By identifying critical success factors, risks and challenges early on, your planning will be easier and the chances of a “first-time-right” remediation program improve dramatically. By setting-up a digital PMO dashboard, QC checklists, tools and accelerators, you can help ensure a much smoother transition to EU MDR/ IVDR compliance.

Sourav Gupta

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Sourav Gupta
Sourav Gupta has 14+ years of experience supporting the Life Sciences industry in the clinical,...

Posted on: March 12-2018 | By : Imran Sheikh | In: Life Sciences | 1 Comment

Although high-profile data breaches grab the headlines, behind the scenes, life sciences is just as information sensitive as any industry. Any pharma company faces a major challenge when it comes to complying with the myriad regulatory requirements about how they create, handle and submit documentation about the products they manufacture.

Even a minor slip up can have a serious financial impact in the form of fines, penalties, or delayed product launches. With so much at stake, document management is a critical process for any pharma companies.

There are a number of widely-accepted best practices to ensure compliance with regulations, but many of these are extremely complex to implement, meaning that the industry has struggled for years to put them in place. These include:

  • Harmonizing and standardizing all global regulatory submission templates
  • Keeping on top of changing and emerging requirements and timelines
  • Implementing strong versioning and change management practices
  • Maintaining strong governance and process management controls
  • Capturing key performance metrics and feedback from regulatory authorities

At Syntel, our prescription to these challenges is a suite of end-to-end regulatory services, driven by an intelligent regulatory services platform. We combine the power of automation and decades of business process expertise to implement standardized, trusted processes for regulatory operations and submissions to health authorities. We can deliver business outcomes such as:

  • 20% reduction in regulatory writing and submission publishing time
  • Dramatic improvements in submission quality
  • Consistent templates for all clinical documents
  • Easier document lifecycle management

A huge added benefit to more structured and consistent document management is the ability to capture rich metrics at every step in the process. By making the document initiation, preparation and publication process more transparent, we can deliver deep insights into your operations and make continuous process improvement a reality.

If you are ready to take the next step in your document management operations, visit us online at

Imran Sheikh

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Imran Sheikh
Imran Sheikh is Sr. Consultant, Regulatory Affairs at Syntel. He has over 10 years of rich...

Posted on: January 03-2018 | By : Rahul Ganar | In: Industries,Life Sciences,Pharmaceuticals and Biotech,TMF Management | No Comments

TMF practices have matured considerably, and are now recognized as a critical step in the drug development cycle. However, a number of challenges persist. One key issue facing the entire life sciences industry is the fact that sponsors, CROs and affiliates often maintain multiple TMF instances — which increases the manual work required and creates redundant practices and processes that increase the complexity of TMF management.

Other challenges that the Life Sciences industry faces today include:

  • CRO coordination, to ensure the right documents are available during audits and inspections.In many cases, CROs manage their TMF system and sponsors manage their own. This makes it difficult to ensure the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of documents, as there is no clear ownership or accountability of TMF documents.
  • Governance, for better sponsor oversight and governance of CROs, affiliates and other functional service providers for TMF management. Document submission timeline is also an issue, as documents are often pushed on to the TMF system at the time of inspection, and not on a regular basis
  • Quality by Design, TMF operations for many life sciences organizations are combined with clinical trials and regulatory document management functions. This leads to quality issues, because there is not an exclusive focus on TMF documentation, which needs a more thorough and focused approach.

Is your organization facing any of these challenges? Do you need help providing answers in advance of an audit or inspection? If so, we want to hear from you, learn about your challenges, and explore how we can work together to ensure that your organization is always audit and inspection ready.

To start the conversation, reply or comment below, or reach out to us at

Rahul Ganar

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Rahul Ganar
Rahul Ganar, Senior Business Analyst, Life Sciences, Syntel has more than 10 years of domain and IT...

Posted on: June 06-2017 | By : Dr. Rohit Sharma | In: Analytics,Big Data,Business Agility,Digital Modernization,Digital Solutions,Healthcare Informatics,Life Sciences | No Comments
It’s no secret that drug and device safety is of the utmost importance in today’s competitive life sciences marketplace, and Pharmacovigilance (PV) is a major component of an effective drug regulation system for evaluating and monitoring adverse events (AEs). The importance of PV to the healthcare industry is underscored by a few striking facts:
  • Adverse events reported to the FDA increased at 13% CAGR from 2006-2014,and serious AEs increased by 15% during the same time period
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), adverse drug reactions account for 100,000+ deaths per year, making them one of top ten causes of death in the U.S.
  • The growing number of ADRs and chronic diseases will increase the global PV market size, which is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2022.
Pharmaceutical and Medical device manufacturers face a number of AE-related challenges, including:
  • High cost of managing AEs in-house
  • Lack of internal resources to manage the huge AE workload
  • Evolving and un-harmonized regulations
  • Stringent reporting timelines
  • Increased reporting of adverse events in social media and literature
Syntel is here to help, with Pharmacovigilance services that balance innovation and risk, while providing the fastest case processing and the highest quality. Syntel’s PV offerings for adverse events include:
  • RPA-driven Case Processing
Syntel’s automated case processing takes AE cases from multiple sources and feeds data directly into your safety database, with integration and real-time information exchange between stakeholders. It also eliminates manual data entry for higher productivity, quality and efficiency.
  • Pharmacovigilance Center of Excellence (CoE) Services
Our PV CoE provides end-to-end adverse event case processing, including case intake and triage, medical coding and narrative writing and aggregate reporting.
  • Safety Analytics, Risk Management, Signal Detection and Analysis
  • Safety Data Management
Global safety database migration, implementation and validation
  • Social Media Integration with SAP HANA
Screens social media, performs text and sentiment analysis, and reports on tweet density, trend analysis, and ADR severity   analysis. How the SyntBots® automation platform powers PV:

The benefits of Syntel’s PV services include:

  • Automated AE case processing through the SyntBots automation platform. SyntBots shortens processing time by as much as 30%, reduces cost and manual effort, improves quality by reducing human error, and enhances operational efficiency.
  • Reduced costs enable you to fund new technology investments and optimize R&D processes such as clinical trial discovery and reporting.
  • Unique factory-based operational model that balances efficiency, compliance, quality and effectiveness.
  • Deep process experience in Individual Case Safety Report (ICSR) processing from sources including spontaneous, clinical trials, literature, solicited and social media for drugs, OTCs and medical devices.
  • Robust experience in support, implementation, migration and customization of safety databases like Argus and ARISg
  • Syntel’s scalable, knowledgeable global workforce enables more flexible engagement and pricing models.
  • Delivers an audit-ready PV service platform that supports MHRA, EMA and FDA audits.
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Dr. Rohit Sharma
Dr. Rohit Sharma is a Pharmacovigilance Consultant, Life Sciences, Syntel. He is Dentist by...


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