Collaboration between CROs and software vendors leads to better systems

It is easier to start new collaborations with someone you already know - and isn't that exactly what we at SwedenBIO are trying to achieve through our networks? We sat down with members Vivologica, Truly Labs and Redoxis to talk about how they came together to collaborate on VivoLogica's documentation system.

Left: Kajsa Wiklund, VivoLogica. Right: Maryam Mostajeran, Per-Ola Önnervik and Charlott Brunmark from Truly Labs, with Nina Woodworth and Pontus Kjellman from Redoxis.

On paper, Redoxis and Truly Labs, two CRO companies located next door in the Medicon Village in Lund, Sweden, should be competitors. In reality, they are long-established in a consensus and see their respective niches as complementary.

“We are a good example of how we should be rivals, but we know each other well and we have always looked for ways to coexist instead. I think it makes us better, it shows that you have so much to gain from having a community where we can share experiences and best practices,” says Karin von Wachenfeldt, CEO of Truly Labs.

It is perhaps not surprising, therefore, that the two companies have similarly embraced collaboration with a third party – the Stockholm-based software company VivoLogica. VivoLogica provides software, and the CROs in turn provide feedback to improve the system – a win-win situation for all three parties.

VivoLogica offers a system that collects documentation from in vivo studies and makes research data available in real time. The system integrates regulatory requirements and operational processes and provides the data that must be demonstrated for in vivo studies.

Malin Hultqvist Hopkins, CEO of Redoxis, emphasizes the importance of a smooth documentation management system, and jokes about her own company’s former paper piles.

“Kajsa Wiklund (interim CEO of VivoLogica) has visited us and seen the amount of paperwork and lists and notes that come with each experiment, which we used to struggle with before we implemented VivoLogica. Being able to streamline the work we do and make sure everything we do is up to date and compliant, being able to track everything and make sure we get accurate results is important,” says Malin.

Collaborative development

Together with Redoxis and Truly Labs, VivoLogica is further developing its system with input from the two CROs.

“It’s very close cooperation to develop a system that fits Truly and Redoxi’s way of working, so it’s more of a development cooperation I would call it,” says Kajsa.

Karin raises her eyebrows further, pointing out that working closely with VivoLogica does not only benefit Truly and Redoxis.

“This collaboration is about enabling Swedish CROs to deliver support to preclinical studies with high qualitative and ethical standards, with complex models, highly skilled staff, and a high level of documentation. All documentation is preserved at every stage – from the lab to data delivery to the customer – with no risk of information being distorted or lost along the way,” she says.

SwedenBIO meeting became a catalyst

While VivoLogica had been in contact with Redoxis and Truly Labs before, it was at SwedenBIO’s member-exclusive executive dinner last year where the collaboration took wings and took off.

“It is so important that there are places where Swedish companies can meet a bit randomly and have time to not just listen to a presentation or so, but really just meet and mingle and find new opportunities, and that is the best thing about the kind of meetings that SwedenBIO organizes”, says Karin.

Nina Woodworth, chief operational officer at Redoxis, agrees: “You get to meet people you wouldn’t have met otherwise. Some companies you would have come across anyway because you are in the same business area or have some collaboration, but during these events you get the chance to talk to people you wouldn’t have met otherwise”, she says.

“It is always easier to embark on long projects or collaborations with someone you already have a relationship with and know – from the beginning you know that you are on the same wavelength and what to expect”, Malin summarizes.