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Champions 2.0

March 12, 2007

Lars BarfodElsevier MDL
Lars Barfod
President & CEO

How has your company adapted and responded to the changing economic climate in the past five years when so many others companies did not?

Elsevier MDL delivers informatics solutions with real business value rather than just technology clout. The new scientist-centered MDL Isentris system integrates information access and workflow applications for improved decision-making in R&D. Five years ago people thought about Isentris as a technology platform. Today it’s a business-enabler and a problem-solver that meets bottom-line business requirements. Our customers want to work more efficiently, save time, save costs. To thrive in today’s economic climate, we’re operating more cost-effectively ourselves by using offshore development resources, and we’re passing savings on to customers by aligning our pricing policies with our customers’ budget situations.  

What is your vision for the future of the life sciences market over the next several years?

We’re already seeing several large pharmas synthesizing compounds in lower cost areas of the world. This globalization of pharmaceutical R&D will continue with many companies collaborating with offshore R&D sites in India, China, and other countries where costs are lower. As a result, we are also seeing an increasing need for improved integration of data, workflow, and business processes across, and between global enterprises. MDL Isentris is aligned with this business paradigm. Isentris improves the integration of data and workflow applications and offers greater cost efficiency and improved security and performance over wide area networks. 

What products and services does your company provide and what special capabilities do they offer the life sciences market?

Elsevier MDL provides the informatics infrastructure, content and decision support software that scientists need to do efficient discovery research. An integrating solution like Isentris optimizes successful, enterprise-wide R&D. Our DiscoveryGate content service puts information at scientists’ fingertips, enabling them to conduct better-informed investigations. Workflow solutions like MDL Notebook, MDL Registration, MDL Logistics, MDL Assay Explorer and MDL Plate Manager help scientists manage their experiments efficiently. At the level of the individual scientist, we help global teams capture, register, analyze, report on and share data. At the enterprise level, we help organizations create, capture and protect the intellectual property that is the foundation of everything they do.

Partnerships are an effective way to track life science advances and ensure that your company delivers timely products and services. Which life sciences companies or organizations have you partnered with or invested in and why?

Content is a key partnership area for Elsevier MDL. Our DiscoveryGate platform gives scientists access to 22 databases covering bioactivity, sourcing, synthesis, drug safety, and pharmacology information including content from providers such as Prous Science and FIZ CHEMIE. DiscoveryGate also provides access to indexed compounds referenced in PubChem and the Derwent World Patents Index. Another major partnership area for us is the MDL Isentris Alliance. This is a community of partner companies such as Spotfire that is developing integrated, high-value solutions for researchers using the open Isentris system. The Isentris Alliance is one more way we spare customers the headache of having to integrate disparate applications from different vendors themselves.

What are your most exciting products and initiatives in development, and how will they improve life science research?

We are aggressively developing our new Isentris informatics and workflow integration system and expect to deepen and widen its applicability along the R&D value chain. For example, the Isentris-based MDL Notebook ELN is leading the way in extending data and workflow integration capabilities into chemistry and biology — providing improved patent information, logistics support, and reagent, compound, sample and assay management, both for low-throughput and high-throughput screening.

Where do you see your company in five years?

Elsevier MDL will continue to be the leading provider of integrated informatics solutions for research and development with an even stronger focus on partnering with customers to improve performance and cost efficiency. By extending the benefits of enhanced integration into the areas of preclinical and clinical development and actively participating in much-needed consolidation within the IT industry, we will continue to lead the way in pioneering cost-effective informatics solutions that improve the efficiency of the R&D process.

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