AstraZeneca has entered into an agreement with a Belgium-based clinical trials supply chain technology venture called N-SIDE. Not well known in the United States, N-SIDE was providing consulting to the Anglo/Nordic global pharmaceutical company and was able to negotiate and close a global clinical trial supply chain software deal. An impressive accomplishment.

TrialSIte News offers a brief breakdown of this news reported in Contract Pharma.

Who is N-SIDE?

Based in Belgium, N-SIDE is an innovative software consulting company focusing on optimizing supply chain solutions. They have traditionally focused on multiple verticals including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, steel, pulp & paper, energy, etc.  They were founded in 2000 and have been a niche supply chain consultancy and technology company with a niche focus. They presently employ between 80 to 100 employees. Their CEO is Belgium-based Jacques Parlongue.

The AstraZeneca Deal is Interesting

The AstraZeneca clinical trial supply chain announcement caught the attention of the TrialSite News curation team. AstraZeneca, the 12th largest pharmaceutical company worldwide, represents a significant deal for this niche Belgian company.  Selling their N-SIDE Suite for Clinical Trials, AstraZeneca is making an investment to capitalize on the company’s N-SIDE Supply and Dashboard Apps to improve the design, planning, and monitoring for their global clinical trials operation.

What is the Value Proposition?

John Murray is the Supply Chain Transformation Lead at AstraZeneca and noted “N-SIDE Suite provides a tremendous opportunity for AstraZeneca to collaborate across key areas of clinical development and delivery the best studies for our patients.”

AstraZeneca seeks to leverage the N-SIDE Suite for clinical Trials to centralize its clinical supply chain management to support strategic decision-making during protocol design as well as improved operational planning and change management for ongoing clinical trials. The premise, of course, will be that this system, once operational and in use, will automatically capture supply chain data offering real-time clinical trial supply chain business intelligence dashboards. This will afford AstraZeneca clinical trials operational professionals the ability to access real time monitoring, actuals visualization not to mention support cross-department communication.

Challenging Business

Global pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca are actually a combination of dozens if not hundreds of affiliates, divisions and departments. Often affiliates are organized by country and/or by region are influenced by local law and actually set up and enforce their own operating policies, procedures and processes—at times creating challenges for headquarter consolidation and centralization of processes and systems.  Initiatives such as clinical trials global data harmonization and governance can represent real challenges; consolidating, centralizing and rationalizing clinical trials supply chains worldwide is no exception. Particularly when factoring in the need for agility and flexibility  given the considerable changes rippling through the industry from a blockbuster model to high-value specialized programs from rare disease to oncology to gene therapies.

Call to Action: Global biopharmaceutical companies may be interested in learning more from AstraZeneca about how they are planning on rationalizing and centralizing their clinical trial supply chain infrastructure, should they be interested in sharing information.

Source: ContractPharma

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