Interview: How to avoid unnecessary legwork and data scraping with Aerona's modern approach across pharma divisions

By Liza Laws

- Last updated on GMT

 © Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags database Pharmaceutical companies Artificial intelligence AI

Aerona Clinical is a medium sized pharmaceutical company, represented not only in the United Kingdom, but in Europe, and with a global reach. The company has been operating in this environment in the pharma industry for 15 to 20 years.

The company believes its unique way of operating across four pharma industry divisions – while most providers tending to home-in on one area. By using modern techniques, Aerona oversees all the online, digital, and artificial intelligence facilities available today and can operate in those forward markets simultaneously.

Supporting both government health and private organizations, it offers licensing and marketing of third party branded and generic medications and has its own portfolio focusing on easy to administer medical device presentations, B2B trade, and clinical supply.

OSP spoke to Spencer Crawford, director of the company, about why they stand out becoming one of the fastest growing pharma partnering companies internationally and what they can offer and achieve.

OSP: Could you give me some detail about what it is you do?

The way that we operate, we use people's individual skills and their ability to tap into particular areas like online databases, and all that's still required to operate companies within the rules and regulations of the pharma industry.  

By using us, companies will be able to reach different customers in different markets within a much quicker, more effective, and more direct way.

If we identify products that we want to manufacture and commercialize for our own portfolio, in the past, that would have meant a lot of legwork, a lot of basic data scraping, trying to get market information where it was very restricted.

Previously, we have only really relied on one or two large companies to provide us the information to be able to make choices to decide which medicines we wanted to manufacture and commercialize.

Whereas by using 21st century integrated database systems, and our online ability to be able to manipulate those, and to look and see where we can streamline the services and the way that we do things to come up with quicker and better decisions – and that is one way that Aerona can get products on the market quicker.

We look at the way we operate our clinical trials, supplies, services, global logistics companies and the tools that are at our disposal including algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI) and match that with the customers’ needs with the aim of reaching them quicker. We are using tools that we didn’t have ten years ago remembering the pharmaceutical market is highly regulated.

In the past, that would have meant a lot of manual research and a lot of manual understanding or experience through years of working in the international global pharma industry, which would have taken up a lot more staff and a lot more overheads - and a lot more manpower. But because we are using these top these data tools, we can achieve the same thing far quicker. We can do that with a reduced staff and infrastructure for the company. So that means that we can be more competitive, we can pass the costs on to our customers and suppliers and offer a more bespoke vertically integrated service.

OSP: What was the vision for your customers?

It has always been the plan to be able to use these tools and the way that we work to be able to expand quicker, more efficiently, and to be able to operate in one or more parts of the global pharmaceutical industry. On top of that, it’s being able to react quicker to the needs of the customers and the suppliers, offering them a service whereby we are cross supplying and offering services, we wouldn't have been able to ten to 15 years ago.

This reduction in manpower that you’ve mentioned, do you expect any opposition to that, or do you just think that's just the way the world has to move?

I think, because the company started off from scratch with this and with this idea in mind, in the philosophy and in the strategy, there isn't any loss of manpower within our business. The manpower and the infrastructure have been built alongside the strategic objective to utilise 21st century tools to be able to build the business in four different divisions at the same time.

Where did this idea stem from, was it a lightbulb moment?

I think because of the experience I've had in pharma not only in the UK, but on a global basis, the constraints of not being able to deliver cost effective, or patient safe medicines in the first instance planted the seed.

But it was also the way that any industry isn't evolving, it's still restricted, because we have to manage it within the rules and regulations. However, that didn’t mean there wasn't a more productive, more advanced way of being able to run these different divisions in a small company, our headcount isn't big but we've managed to reach a global audience because of it.

So, in some ways, you could say it was born out of a degree of frustration?

Absolutely. I suppose Brexit had something to do with it, too. We were part of a larger family, because of the transfer of data and information and everything else, to be able to launch medicines is so integrated, and so reliant on each other.

What's your vision for the company?

I would like to be able to, as a team and a family, be able to offer a more vertically integrated service, be the service provider for people that are looking to be able to operate in the same cyberspace or same arenas that we're operating in on a day-to-day operational basis. We would also like to use it to be able to identify and really bring to market more niche costs, effective generic medicines in a more robust and quicker time.

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