Using Cloud Collaboration to Extend the Life of Patents While Reducing R&D Costs

Posted by: Do Lee September 21, 2016 Collaboration, Life Sciences

We often talk about how large pharmas are facing billion dollar losses with upcoming patent expiries. For instance, according to Evaluate Pharma, $215 billion is at stake as the majority of the drugs on the market are expected to lose their patents in the near future. A solution that is given many times is to use both internal and external collaboration to create new blockbuster products by connecting top minds together from anywhere in the world. Well, what if we didn’t just talk about creating new blockbusters, but tweaking current ones as well.

Patent prolongation by reformulation or delivery methodology alterations isn’t new; however, not many companies make a strategic effort in this type of development. This type of drug development utilizes low risk for seemingly faster and higher returns, allowing many companies to fend off generic competition while creating value-added services. But, just like in the process of creating new drugs, reformulation of old ones takes brilliant minds coming together to discover new delivery systems, new therapeutic purposes, and enhanced efficacies. Big Pharmas still must provision contractors, employees and partners to collaborate digitally across the globe.

So, the same issues arise as if you were creating new drugs from scratch: How to collaborate globally and securely? How to collaborate quickly and efficiently? How to protect Intellectual Property (IP) from being viewed by the wrong people, or downloaded by illicit people? How to keep costs low, but productivity high?

The answer: Secure Cloud Collaboration through Federated Single Sign-On

So, how does cloud collaboration work?

The end goal is streamlining the commercialization process, but the beginning starts with simplifying provisioning. Industry-trusted credentials and standardized workflows allow companies to provision users quickly – companies have reported that using this methodology reduces their provisioning time from months to days. Once users are vetted through a variety of proofing, they use multi-factor authentication to access the cloud, which connects them to multiple partners all at once.

An existing collaboration platform within the cloud can enable customers to utilize shared resources, avoiding long IT setup times and reducing costs across the value chain.

And as researchers communicate via different tools and applications, the secure ecosystem creates an IP sharing platform. A proper collaboration tool will offer you digital rights protection and siloed meeting rooms for enhanced security. Because of the ease of use, process simplification, and global reach of cloud collaboration, organizations have been able to expedite clinical trials and government approvals.


Cloud collaboration can be used to discover new drugs or reformulate old ones. The main point is that secure cloud collaboration allows teamwork beyond company borders. Moreover, many companies find that when they streamline their collaboration in the cloud they reduce R&D costs, by saving on time and infrastructure. So, reformulation in the cloud may even allow for more affordable access to healthcare, which addresses a large concern for stakeholders. In short, the quicker innovations can be taken to the market, the better for all.