A very wide variety of information is generated during the process of Pharma R&D; this information needs to be captured and stored for intellectual property (IP) purposes, but more importantly, needs to be utilised to drive the future scientific research efforts. Capturing the information generated by research staff by using electronic versions of the paper laboratory notebook is a rapidly evolving application area.
The types of data to be handled, and the means by which the data is to be archived, reported, validated and utilised are also changing very rapidly. In his presentation Robert Scoffin of CambridgeSoft gives an overview of the Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN) application area to highlight the advantages of an ELN over a paper-based system.
Scoffin points out that the pharma and biotech industry need ELN solutions that satisfy long-term data archival requirements, improve productivity but maintain controls on costs. Although an estimated 90% of systems currently followed a mixed lab notebook model of paper and electronic, an increased use of electronic-only systems is underway.
ELNs enable knowledge obtained from previous research projects with molecules to be captured and aid decision-making in new projects. Creation of a future-proofed knowledge store provides a valuable long-term asset for the organisation from which they can be seeing returns 10 to 20 years on. ELNs must also cope with increasingly complex regulatory requirements and intellectual property must be captured and protectable from a legal point of view.