Life Sciences

Paying it forward in a customer-driven world: How one success can power new opportunities

Author: Hocine Ladraa, Process Development Manager, Lionbridge Life Sciences

As we all know in a service business, a longstanding relationship is often the greatest measure of the value being derived by each organization. Lionbridge has been proudly serving as the translation partner to a global medical device manufacturer for more than a decade.  This longstanding relationship has offered Lionbridge the opportunity to bring forward new strategies built upon a record of success over the years. The premise to one such strategy was in our ability to leverage the accumulated market knowledge and centralized technical content as a basis for creating a brand new type of content— and to respond even faster and better to new translation needs.


Here’s a closer look:


Ongoing translation and localization services for technical manuals and other associated content pieces supporting the use of our client’s medical devices have been mainstay services over the years, which has led to the establishment of a dedicated team of experts in the field. When our client asked us to initiate a new program translating customer support cases on their medical devices, we were able to swiftly respond by building another dedicated field team that we ourselves were able to independently train due to our accumulated knowledge and strong base of centralized content. The result? Eliminating the need for client-led instructional device training meant we were able to immediately focus on translating the important customer feedback and on gleaning key insights. This led to accelerated program deployment and high quality delivery from the start.


How did we take it one step further? With our demonstrated expertise and successful outcomes on translating support cases, we were given the opportunity to translate customer feedback on our client’s line of consumer products. Successfully paying forward the knowledge and centralized content from the medical side of the business enabled a rapid transfer to the equally important consumer side.


But the story doesn’t stop there. The insights gained from the consumer translation programs were communicated to our client’s respective global marketing teams to further leverage the input. Customer wants, needs and unique terminology is now being better reflected in all global marketing communications programs.


At the end of the day, finding new and better ways to serve customers is a shared goal, no matter the business type nor the market.  It’s important to remain open as to how these new ways can be identified— and to being resourceful in tapping into the existing knowledge and assets that can be foundational to paying forward the opportunities of tomorrow.

The Real-time Communication Gap in Life Sciences, and a Way Forward

Life sciences companies face an ongoing language challenge as their geographic footprint expands: communicating in real-time with non-English speaking individuals both inside and outside of their organizations.


Certainly, a vast amount of content produced and distributed by life sciences organizations is outside the realm of real-time communications, requiring a fully-compliant content approval process. Continue reading »

3 Reasons to Visit Lionbridge at DIA 2015


Members of the Lionbridge team are proudly exhibiting at DIA 51st Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. next week.  If you’ll also be attending, we’d like to invite you to stop by Booth #1246 to discuss your global translation needs.

Here’s why it’s sure to be time well spent:


Our knowledge bridges the life sciences spectrum, from medical labeling to complex clinical content.

Recognized by Forbes as one of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America, we provide translation and globalization services exclusively to Pharmaceutical, Clinical Research, Medical Device and Healthcare organizations. Take advantage of our unparalleled life sciences translation and globalization expertise in:

  • Clinical Trial Documentation
  • Patient Recruitment and Retention
  • Global Regulatory Solutions
  • Labeling and Packaging


We recognize the critical elements at stake: sponsor relationships, clinical viability, commercial opportunity and, most importantly, patients lives.

We understand, for example, that a faulty translation can invalidate a significant portion of study data, and consider our life sciences language solutions and translation services fundamental building blocks in helping our customers achieve success.


You’ll have a chance to win a Fitbit®!

While at our booth, take part in a short survey for the chance to win a Fitbit. Two winners will be chosen at random at the end of the meeting. Results of the survey will be shared in the coming months.


We hope to see you next week in Washington!

Global Codes of Conduct: Pitfalls and Strategies

On May 5th, we hosted a Global Communication in Life Sciences Take 30 session to discuss the pitfalls and strategies surrounding Codes of Conduct. Our panelist was accomplished attorney and ethics specialist, Anne Norris, Principal of Optimum Integrity, LLC.


While our conversation was wide-ranging, below are some of the key takeaways:


1 – A company’s Code of Conduct is the foundational building block of an ethics and compliance program. It is the vehicle through which the organization communicates its core values and high level expectations for all of its employees.


2 – If you’re taking your Code global or international, be sure to work with an experienced Language Service Provider (LSP). Your LSP will assign linguists with the appropriate background, possessing expertise in helping to manage the in-country review process. The linguists will also be able to offer superior project management to accommodate changes along the way. Be sure to keep the Code simple and visually appealing for all readers.  And remember, the consequences of not having a translated Code of Conduct can be quite severe!  Contact me to hear more on this.


3 – While the Code itself is the building block, companies need to identify ways to further engage their employees and promote ethical behavior. Efforts for consideration include:

  • Training modules (translated for different country relevance)
  • Reporting resources such as ethics hotlines
  • Additional communications tools for Supervisors
  • Ensuring that everyone – from the top on down – walks the talk

Codes of Conduct are truly more than words on paper.  In my opinion, they represent an organization’s ethics DNA. I was happy to be a part in this valuable Take 30. If you’re interested, read more on this topic in my Q&A post with Anne Norris here.


I look forward to your participation in our Take 30 calls in the future.  Please take a moment to request membership in the LinkedIn Group today!


John Herzig
Regional Sales Director
Lionbridge Life Sciences

How To Grow Your Business in Asia? 3 Key Takeaways From the 2015 Biopharma Asia Convention

by Kelvin Chan, Head of Sales, South Asia at Lionbridge


As one of the largest annual biopharmaceutical conventions in Asia, the Biopharma Asia Meeting recently concluded its 8th program in sunny Singapore. Lionbridge was the sponsor of the opening cocktail reception, our first official participation at this high-profile convention.

Against the stoic backdrop of the nation-state mourning the recent passing of the founder of modern Singapore, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the event’s success was a strong endorsement of the former Prime Minister’s contributions to the transformation of Singapore’s economy. The Life Sciences sector has been earmarked one of the 4 pillars of the high-growth Singapore economy by its government for more than a decade.

The level of investment in the Life Sciences industry, and more importantly, the value that the industry brings to the human population, is second to none. Pharmaceuticals and biotechs are under enormous pressure— and deservingly incentivized­­— to bring safe and effective drugs, medicines and vaccines to the market as quickly as possible. It is not surprising, then, that the clinical trial space and innovations within this space that drive market acceleration, patient safety and financial efficiencies have remained hot topics at the convention over the years.

I had the opportunity to attend one of the biggest roundtables at the event: The Pan-Asian Clinical Trials Coordination, hosted by Dr. Karen Wai, Quintiles. Here are 3 takeaways from the roundtable— and the convention as a whole— on how to boost your Life Sciences business in Asia as if it were “on drugs” as they say!


1)      Rely on trusted and experienced partners

  1. Asia is a complicated region, and its industry is increasingly regulated and complex, inconvenienced with a relatively nascent intra-region, inter-country regulatory collaboration.
  2. Working with partners possessing a deep presence in Asia and relevant experience in the region (both developed and emerging markets) is a much more efficient strategy than building— and subsequently maintaining— the knowledge solely in-house.
  3. Shameless plug #1 – Lionbridge Life Sciences, as one of Forbes’ 100 Most Trustworthy Companies, and through its APAC Centre of Excellence for Life Sciences in Singapore, is a trusted and experienced translation partner to several Life Sciences organizations.


2)      Prioritize process consistency

  1. While there is a high need for local knowledge, Life Sciences organizations with a multi-country/region interest should explore process consistency and re-engineering as a strategy toward achieving greater growth acceleration.
  2. Centralized operations hubs provide the greatest opportunity for process consistency and should be seriously considered, especially as the global workforce becomes increasingly mobile.
  3. While possibly inefficient for one or two markets, developing process consistency is an absolute must toward achieving repeatable, scalable regional or international growth. Management should take a longer-term perspective on how strategic decisions can drive growth in the mid-to-long term, and not fall into the temptation of making short-term tactical moves.
  4. As an extension to Point (1), developing partnerships with organizations such as Lionbridge (Shameless plug #2) that lives, breathes, and articulates process consistency with passion should be evaluated. Innovative processes and technologies to create greater efficiencies for customers is our measure of success.


3)      Build a great internal corporate culture

  1. Asia as a region is fascinatingly complex, with distinctively different cultures for every country.
  2. Hiring and retaining talent, and keeping them happy, productive and innovative is a critical strategy for driving your organization ahead, while “starving” off your competitors from these indispensable assets.
  3. The result of fostering a positive corporate culture can lead to valuable recognition by trade associations and other influential organizations. PRA’s “Best CRO” award at the Biopharma Asia Convention can surely be attributed to the tremendous efforts of virtually all of PRA’s employees.

There are no magic pills in successfully growing a regional or international business, but I hope that these 3 observations will be useful to you as you consider all your growth strategies for your business in Asia.

Last, I would like to share with you a picture of the Lionbridge team at the opening cocktail reception that we sponsored. If you couldn’t make it this year, you did miss out a great opportunity. But not to worry— we do hope to see you at the next round come 2016!


The Medical Device Marketplace: New Factors Impacting Global Marketing Strategies

Analysts are in agreement that, while the 2014 global medical device market was a challenging year, it wasn’t a slow year. As reported in MDDOnline, Kalorama Research pegged the global market for medical devices at $361 billion in 2014, up from $330 billion in 2013.

What were some of the notable industry drivers?


Big Data is moving from back room to center stage.

Medical devices are generating more and more data, and even with regulatory and liability concerns, companies are seeking ways to utilize this valuable asset. A big contributor? Wearable technologies with $5.2 billion in global sales in 2014.

Continue reading »

3 Considerations to Make Patient Recruitment Communications More Meaningful

Despite the challenges surrounding increased regulations and evolving clinical standards, conducting clinical trials globally is an attractive option for life sciences organizations. But communication in clinical trials must evolve to meet the demands of the changing clinical landscape, with patient recruitment and retention communications at the forefront.
Here are 3 things to consider for improving your patient recruitment communications:
Continue reading »

3 Key Takeaways on Going Local in Life Sciences

We recently held our first Take 30 interactive discussion with members of our LinkedIn Group, Global Communication in Life Sciences. Our topic, “Don’t Go Global, Go Local,” sparked lively conversation among Group members. Here are some useful takeaways inspired by our discussion: Continue reading »

How a Strategic Collaboration is Taking the Pain Out of Authoring Life Sciences Content

Written by Jessica Chudy, Production Technology Manager, Life Sciences

Developing content and controlling revisions is a particularly critical process in the highly regulated Life Sciences industry. The slightest mistakes can rapidly find their way through a connected chain of internal and market-facing documentation, leaving those responsible with the painful and problematic dilemma of catching all of the errors throughout the documents and online sites all over the world. The problem grows exponentially when this documentation is localized. Revisions to translated content increase time to market and of course the costs. Continue reading »

Is it time… really time… to consider the benefits of centralizing translation?

In many global life sciences organizations, individual markets manage their own translation, either through working from content developed by the corporate office or creating their own. This model supports the local interest; however, as the volume of content and the number of languages grow due to regional expansion, and as cross-discipline life science content integration becomes important, the inefficiencies of decentralization become more obvious.

As we approach a New Year, now may be a good time to consider centralizing your translation efforts. Here are some considerations as you evaluate this model:

Optimized Technologies are Proven and Readily Deployable:  In the past, the resources necessary for seamless centralization were not readily available. However, today, the systems needed to facilitate multilingual content development with local input and validations are being successfully deployed by life sciences organizations worldwide. The deployment model involves central control of the process, in tandem with a globally capable language service provider that can seamlessly support an organization’s local operations and protocols, like Lionbridge Life Sciences.

Your Total Translation Costs May be Actually Higher Than You Realize:  Translation costs have a multitude of  ways of presenting themselves—as pass-through costs from outside agencies at the project level, at the clinical level on research initiatives, and as costs subsumed in local budgets at the regional and branch levels.  Adding these costs up could serve as the impetus to realizing there may be a better way.

Achieving Higher Levels of Quality and Efficiency May Be Gained Through Outside Expertise: In each country, standards and protocols vary tremendously, so there may be apprehension surrounding regulatory compliance.  As we know, the only constant in today’s evolving global regulatory environment is that local health authorities expect on-time, quality submissions each and every time. Whether you are registering across all EU languages with the European Medicines Agency (EMA), or a select number of languages with local health authorities in China (SFDA), Japan (PMDA), and Korea (KFDA) among others, a broad range of multilingual regulatory submission needs from translation to desktop publishing to XML engineering and independent review are part and parcel to ongoing operations.  An outside resource with a proven track record in successful global regulatory submissions may be a benefit to achieving greater efficiencies in the prevailing ‘do more with less’ life science environments, particularly in regulatory functions.

What might the benefits of a centralized model be?

  • Centralized control with local validation
  • Minimum redundancy, maximum transparency
  • Ability to synchronize initiatives across markets
  • Optimal use of linguistic assets
  • Projection of a single consistent brand message worldwide

More and more life sciences companies are considering a centralized translation strategy as they bring in a new content management system or an e-learning platform in order to fully transform their global communications model for the digital world.

Centralization makes everything transparent: costs, timelines and quality. Ultimately, though, centralization is not about getting something for less. The real value to life sciences organizations lies in the competitive advantages derived from improving quality, predictability, consistency, strategic use of resources, and the ability of the organization to quickly respond to emerging opportunities and obstacles.

As you plan to further optimize your resources in 2015, how can Lionbridge Life Sciences help you with a centralized translation model to ensure global consistency and local relevance across customers and markets?

Related Articles

  • Global Patient Recruitment: Top Barriers To Efficient Enrollment
  • Key Factors Surrounding the Growth in Global Clinical Trials
  • Localization: The Key to Making Your Next Global Product Launch Succeed

Related Services

  • Website Translation
  • Clinical Trial Document Translation
  • onDemand Translation
  • Geofluent