Market for LIMS opening up in India
With the new IPR regime in place, sponsors are looking at companies in India to outsource their work and this has opened up the market for LIMS tools.
Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) are the software tools that help automate the collection and management of the data generated in a laboratory. Many of these products let companies store data in commonly used databases, and they also interface with analysis equipment to collect experimental data.
Effective use of information is a key task for every laboratory. Research and development laboratories need systems and procedures that can automate analytical processes and effectively share information. With the ability to make more real-time decisions, researchers can identify, and elevate promising candidate compounds to NDA, while eliminating non-viable candidates as early in the process as possible. LIMS systems that effectively serve pharmaceutical and life sciences research and development endeavors must offer a flexible set of features that adapt rapidly to changing workflows, materials and analyses. Configurable templates help to automate the workflows within the lab, including the creation of sample records, the assignment of testing and the collection of results, even in dynamic environments.
In India LabVantge based out of Kolkata is a serious player in this space. Besides, Ocimum Biosolutions, Persistent Systems and Chennai-based Agaram Industries are offering LIMS products to companies from different markets like biotechnology/ bioagri, contract services, discovery, genomics, metabalomics, pharmaceutical/bio-pharmaceutical, pre-clinical/clinical, proteomics, quality assurance, quality control, quality management and research and development. Even multinational biosuppliers like Thermo Electron Corporation and Perkin-Elmer are also offering LIMS products.
Key Features of LIMS
|Client/Server Based, Browser-Based, Simple User Interface, Sample Management, Extensive Sample Management Options, Flexible Reporting, True Adhoc Reporting, Analytical Quality Control, Trending, Robust Functionality, Configurability, Enhanced Configurability (Forms, Workflow, Data Model, Roles, etc), 21 CFR Part 11 Compliance with E-Signature and Fully Configurable Audit Trail, Configurable, Real-time Workflow Automation for Enforcing Your Business Processes, Instrument Integration Enterprise System and 3rd Party Application Interface Options, Specification Management, Extensive Specification Management, Extensive Inventory Management of ANY Entity (including Plates, Reagents, Tubes, etc), Stability and Shelf-life Analysis, Ability to Access System Via Any Internet-Ready Device (PC, PDA, Tablets, etc.), Configurable Multi-dimensional arrays (Racks of Tubes to Microtitre Plates to Gels to Chips), Ability to easily and seamlessly interface with your favorite Data Analysis and Mining tools, Complete Well and Plate Genealogy, Extensive Plate/Compound Management, Seamless Integration with Public/Private Databases.|
Headquartered at Kolkata, LabVantage's solutions support the LIMS requirements of general quality manufacturing, high-throughput discovery, and development laboratories. It offers three LIMS products to meet the needs of different types of laboratories. Its Sapphire R4 LIMS has solutions for the entire process - discovery, research and development, pre-clinical, clinical and quality management endeavors. LabVantage's Sapphire maintains a complete audit trail to comply with 21 CFR Part 11 and other FDA regulations. LabVantage's Sapphire LIMS offers a variety of mechanisms for grouping, tracking and viewing samples.
Based at Hyderabad, Ocimum Biosolutions has three products in LIMS space. They are Toxchek, Pharmatracker and Biotracker. Toxchek is a pre-clinical LIMS that can manage, compare and track data from general toxicology studies like chronic, sub-chronic, acute, sub-acute, long-term and teratology studies. Pharmatracker is a multi-platform, multi-user, cost-effective LIMS especially suited for pharmaceutical industry. It enables R&D and manufacturing laboratories to perform QA/QC on all inventories, keep accurate track of samples, reagents, instruments, processes and output. Biotracker is a GLP and US FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliant Laboratory Information and Knowledge Management System.
Chennai-based Agaram introduced STARLIMS in India by establishing STARLIMS (AP) Centre of Excellence; offering services to implement, support STARLIMS clients in the AP region and Middle East. STARLIMS Corporation delivers cost effective, easy-to-use collaborative LIMS solutions to organizations in the public health, pharmaceutical, petrochemical, forensics, food & beverage, environmental and chemical industries.
Pune-based Persistent Systems has LIMS tool that was designed to help automate the information flow part of the workflow. LIMS enabled the user to know his current jobs, information about the lab element they working on, tracking of information and so on. LIMS help manage the data in an integrated way and allow for the generation of reports.
Thermo Electron Corporation provides a laboratory informatics solution, which includes comprehensive services for planning, implementing and supporting enterprise systems, with regulatory consulting, training, and system validation performed by a global professional services staff. Thermo's LIMS are designed to meet the flexibility demands of today's laboratories. Its LIMS offerings include; SampleManager, the world's de facto standard Enterprise LIMS, and Watson, the industry standard for bioanalytical labs at top 20 pharmaceutical companies.
Anil Kastuar, president, LabVantage Solutions Pvt Ltd said, "The market for LIMS products is picking up. At present I feel the market is in the range of Rs 60-70 crore and biotechnology/ biopharmaceuticals sector contributes a lot to this. In my view the market for LIMS tools is growing at a healthy rate of 30-40 percent. But it is still in the early stages. In India we have a mix of people who know about LIMS but don't have idea about how it will help them or its applications."
Anuradha Acharya, CEO, Ocimum Biosolutions said, "The LIMS market in India is just opening up. With IPR in place and some awareness about the regulatory issues, electronic submission of reports the companies are now looking at various tools including LIMS. It will take a couple of years to see growth in this new market."
Commenting on the entry of Indian companies in the LIMS market, Anil Kastuar said, "They are diluting the market by introducing cheaper products/tools. Due to this, customers will end up in trouble after some time. One can see such situations in ERP, SAP market. We might face the same problem in LIMS market." On biosuppliers entry into LIMS space, he commented, "The customers have now become wise. They look at quality of the tool and not the brand. The biosuppliers who have range of products on offer to biopharmacetical and biotech companies do have an edge. This is only at the entry level."
Anuradha Acharya said, "The problem in this market is some Indian companies are selling the tools at throw-away prices. It will create a bad impression. Moreover the companies have to understand the domain. Only then can they compete with MNCs.