A week in the life of…a solution owner in biologics R&D
Unjulie Bhanot, Solution Owner, IDBS
Top five skills
- Lab experience
- Subject mater expertise
- Time/risk management
- Collaboration/partner management
The research and development industry is growing, and with growth, comes challenges. The industry is split between scientists ready to move into the future and happily lean into modern technologies, and those more traditional in their approach. How do we leverage new technology and approach the problems in drug development with a fresh pair of eyes? It’s my job to ferry between these industries.
My name is Unjulie, and I’m a Solution Owner (for Biologics Development) at IDBS, a software solutions company helping scientists streamline their workflows at the bench – helping pharmaceutical organisations remove data management bottlenecks, so that patients receive life-saving medications sooner.
A typical week as a Solution Owner sees me lead the development of the IDBS Bioprocess Solution, our data management platform designed specifically for scientists working in biotherapeutics, whether they are a large pharma organisation, or a small biotech. We’re looking beyond configuration of our software alone, pursuing partnerships and making it a wholesome, fully-fledged solution designed to meet the needs and challenges of these organisations today.
Along with leading the solution in line with our corporate strategy, I also identify and analyse functional and non-functional requirements for solution development. So, talking to customers on a regular basis, getting feedback and understanding any concerns and pain points that arise during the deployment of our software. I’m always looking to determine what we need to make the solution better suited to our customers, and ensure they get the most out of our software.
In the same vein, keeping the solution in line with the latest trends and industry needs is vital to maintain competitiveness with our rivals. As customers raise new challenges, I find and evaluate new technologies that can be used to address their needs and concerns.
And when I’m not working on improving our bioprocess solution, I’m promoting it. This includes showcasing the value of the IDBS platform and solution offerings through PR activities, of which drafting marketing materials, presenting webinars, and writing articles are just a few of my responsibilities.
There are challenges, though. One that occupies me on a daily basis is thinking about the needs of a good manufacturing practice (GMP) environment versus a non-GMP environment – how to cater to both using the same toolkit. There are many considerations around how one can deploy the software in this regard. For example, non-GMP regulated labs prefer templates with flexibility, and they might find that our templates are more prescriptive than they would want. On the other hand, GMP environments require more rigidity in the templates and how they work.
So, when scientists have a data-related laboratory problem, we do our best to address it, speeding up research and development processes to get medications to market faster.
Career path to biologics solution owner
Imperial College London
BSc Biochemistry & MSc Immunology
R&D Scientist roles in two major pharma companies
Scientific IT Specialist in pharma
Professional Services Consultant within IDBS (Design and deploy bespoke solutions using the IDBS product stack in pharma organisations)
Solutions Consultant (Support the sale of the IDBS product stack by providing business and technical knowledge)