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R&D Trends: Maximizing dark data to enhance drug repurposing

5
min read

The exponential enthusiasm for drug repurposing

Valued at $31.3 million USD in 2020, the global drug repurposing market size is expected to continue its growth at a compounding rate of 5.4% to reach $46.8 million by 2028.

Drug repurposing offers numerous opportunities for pharmaceutical companies searching for better resource management, process optimization, and market growth. This leads to expedited approval processes, shortened development timelines, and accelerated time to market. Although far from new, the strategy has gained significant interest in recent years and is set to continue its expansion.

Dark formulation data as strategic business value

A recent survey reports that R&D teams spend an estimated 60% of their lab time iterating formulations, with more than half of formulation projects being delayed over 12 months. This is because formulation scientists often rely on scattered sources and manual data processing. Unstructured information, also known as dark data, and poor knowledge management systems pose significant barriers to effective drug repurposing. It is estimated that 55% of all organization knowledge is dark data.

Transforming dark formulation data into accessible, reliable, well-curated information can further reduce the time spent on manual information processing and eliminate unnecessary iterations. By structuring and harmonizing dark data in a searchable knowledge management platform, you can facilitate scientists' access to your company’s data landscape, simplifying information retrieval. This ultimately accelerates the formulation workflow while offering an undeniable competitive advantage. By deploying strategies that unlock dark data, formulation scientists can uncover evidence-based opportunities to increase reprofiling efficiency and reduce time to market. Using existing formulation data as a foundation, your formulation team can identify expiring patents, uncover new reprofiling opportunities, and accelerate the drug repurposing process. Pharmaceutical companies exploiting dark data as a foundation for formulations can boost drug repurposing success, gaining a significant advantage over their competitors.

Three steps to unravel the power of dark formulation data

Thanks to the rise of digitalization and advanced organizational tools, you can implement digital strategies to transform latent information into evidence-based opportunities. However, exploiting massive data can become overwhelming and put your company at risk if not done properly. Here are three key steps to start decrypting your dark data:

1) Collect and structure existing formulation data
Conducting a thorough inventory of available data sources is key: both internal and external, and structured and unstructured. Once inventoried, you can digitize all physical documents - from lab journals and clinical reports to market reports and patents. Digitized data can then be standardized to a single language. You will also want to create a common nomenclature and construct data frameworks to keep you organized, connected, and compliant. Additionally, establish data integrity and accuracy protocols to ensure your data remains clean and accurate.

2) Create a searchable, curated database
Start by confirming your data quality, accuracy, and integrity. Once complete, you can then develop custom thesauri and ontologies that will help you efficiently search your data. Next, you want to integrate custom search tools designed for your formulation purposes that will generate reliable data connections and identify drug repurposing opportunities.

Download this case study to learn how one company created a knowledge management system that drastically reduced search times.

3) Expand with external resources and expertise
Go beyond your data by incorporating external formulation content to supplement your database, expand your knowledge, and prevent data bias. Partnering with a data management expert will help you put these strategies into action and achieve success.

Download this case study to learn how one company’s data management strategy led to annual savings of over $800,000.

Looking ahead

Though dark data represents a long-standing challenge for the pharmaceutical industry, leveraging this unstructured information for drug repurposing is still a rather new, fast-growing topic. In the race against diseases and industrial competition, formulation scientists with access to relevant and curated data management platforms lead the way.

By structuring information in a custom knowledge management system, companies can convert their dark data into smart information assets for their formulation team to transform into new drug repurposing opportunities. Give your formulation strategy a dark data boost and claim your frontrunner spot in the repurposed drug competition.

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