March 7, 2002
SAS Institute Inc.
Edward D. Helton
Chief Strategist, Biopharmaceutical Industry
Research Data Should Be Shared Globally
What is the history of your organization’s involvement in life sciences?
Tardiff: SAS has been delivering world-class software and services for more than 25 years. The life sciences market has gravitated to SAS from the beginning—biopharmaceutical companies were early SAS customers because of the power of the products for managing and analyzing data. Over our extended history, we have participated in development work with many, if not most, of the major life sciences companies.
What is your vision for the development of the life sciences market?
Tardiff: Our mission is to create efficiency and innovation in biomedical R&D. As a biomedical scientist, I see both a huge number of unmet medical needs and the incredible promise of bioscience in terms of helping us understand the etiology of disease at the molecular level, deliver individualized therapeutics, and perhaps eradicate major causes of morbidity. I see the effective deployment of information technology as critical to enable us to realize these promises.
Our vision is one of a standards-based infrastructure that fosters collaborative biomedical R&D—a model for orchestrating capabilities and resources across an organization and the life sciences community. This framework would allow for consolidation and interoperability of discovery and clinical data, global sharing of research data and results, and process integration across and between organizations. If knowledge generated by a research community can be captured, maintained, and manipulated and the entire landscape can be viewed, it becomes possible to identify the superior set of links that creates the most value and will meet the societal and business need to turn information into therapies.
What organizational assets have you developed to serve this community?
Tardiff: SAS understands the very large needs that have been brought on by the rapidly expanding volume and complexity of life sciences data and has extensive experience with developing and delivering solutions that allow organizations to manage and understand their data.
Informatics technologies must combine form (technology) and function (business processes). SAS has therefore enhanced its organizational capabilities with teams of individuals with specialized expertise in the life sciences industry to ensure that the company addresses customer needs with focused product and service strategies. SAS has life sciences industry-specific teams in R&D, marketing, and sales. The individuals on these teams have substantive domain expertise (including regulatory) as well as experience with the application of technology change management methodology.
What products and services does your company provide to the life
Tardiff: SAS offers products across the biomedical research and development continuum, from the discovery phase to postmarket approval, and those that support multiple operational business functions, including research and development, sales and marketing, financial management, human resources, and manufacturing.
SAS is also known for powerful and sophisticated analytics, and a number of specialized products have been developed to analyze and visualize biologic and clinical data, including our newest product, SAS/Genetics. These products enhance SAS’s extensive data analysis and warehousing offerings. SAS has been working with the life sciences industry for 25 years and has become the de facto standard for proving the safety and efficacy of drugs under development. The SAS transport file format is the standard for submission of data to the FDA.
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