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Panel Discussion: Trends in lab design

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On the second day of the Pharma LabNext Conclave 2021, a panel discussion on the topic ‘Trends in Lab Design’ was held wherein the panelists talked about the future of the pharma QC, with respect to digitalisation, automation and online testing.

The esteemed panelists to discuss the topic were Vinod Arora, Principal Advisor, Institute of Good Manufacturing Practices India (IGMPI); Naresh Narasimhan, Principal Architect and Managing Partner, Venkataramanan Associates; Archana Salil, Founder Director and Principal Architect, Arena Consultants; Dr Ajeet Kumar Agrawal, Assistant Director- Analytical Science Division-Biology (ASD-Bio), Shriram Institute for Industrial Research, New Delhi India; and SM Mudda, Managing Director, Misom Labs.

During the discussion, the panelists highlighted the importance of shifting from traditional to automated labs, the various aspects of lab designing such as cost, infrastructure, etc, along with the several major challenges that people face while designing a lab in the current scenario. They also talked about why smart labs are a must for the future and how these can be developed with the resources available at the moment.

The moderator of the session, Dr Vinod Arora, began the discussion by talking about India’s growth story with regards to supply of generics to the US and Europe, and the supply of vaccines across the world. The panelists then brainstormed the ideas and opportunities for creating various lab designs, while also pondering upon the challenges like Form 483 and the warning letters. In addition, they also highlighted the need for shifting from traditional labs to distributed QC labs and automated labs as there are vendors available who are offering solutions and the industry needs to adopt those resources.

While discussing the challenges related to multi-disciplinary labs and the advantages associated with them, the panelists also shed light on squad and lean labs since these are the types of labs that most of the industry people are looking for to gain high productivity. They enlightened the audience about the innovation in lab designs so that there is flexibility, compliance, etc. and also talked about

the future labs with respect to digitalisation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, etc.

The panelists had a view that 90 per cent of testing is done in labs, while only 10 per cent is done online at present. Therefore, automation is going to be the need of the day.

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