Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced today the results of its first Pharma Lab Leaders Survey looking to gather insights from pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and contract research laboratories in seven countries around the world.

Respondents included 650 laboratory managers, directors, and supervisors from China, Germany, India, South Korea, Switzerland, Austria, and the United States. The laboratories surveyed are involved in a range of activities from disease research to manufacturing; The market research firm Frost & Sullivan conducted the survey on Agilent's behalf.

"We were extremely pleased that Agilent wanted to work with us again to explore the challenges and opportunities within this unique group of laboratories," said Paljit Sohal, principal consultant, of Frost & Sullivan. "It is important for companies like Agilent to take the time to understand their customers' challenges as these insights can be vital, informing strategies moving forwards."

Respondents highlighted their unique industry challenges, laboratory pain points, as well as goals for the future. Overall, the primary focus was on achieving quicker results (55%), superior quality (44%), and data integrity (43%). Over half of the respondents indicated that quality standards are getting more stringent in their laboratories, with over 80% finding that their current workflow requires further optimization.

The top strategies being deployed by lab leaders to more efficiently move drugs through the pipeline are:

  • Buying more sophisticated instruments that deliver a greater degree of specificity (85%)

  • Improving documentation of the sample chain of custody (70%)

  • Employing better-qualified staff (56%).

"Agilent is dedicated to continually listening to customers to ensure their success," said Lon Justice, vice president of sales, marketing, and customer experience at Agilent. "With this survey, we enhance our learnings about key pharmaceutical laboratory challenges, goals, and pain points, which have never before been quantifiable. With these insights, our teams will be able to continue to bring customer-focused solutions to market, to improve the science and economics of the labs we serve."

The top-line results are being launched at this week's 67th ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, in Atlanta, Georgia.

"Interestingly, 32% of respondents stated that having easier to use instruments would improve their workflow," Justice added. "The new InfinityLab iQ System, which is being launched at this week's ASMS conference, and the recently launched 8860 and 8890 GC systems are both clear demonstrations of how Agilent is responding to these needs."

An associated infographic is available on the Agilent Newsroom. Country-level results will be released over the coming months.