Glossary Definition: Laboratory Execution System (LES)

What is a laboratory execution system?

A laboratory execution system (LES) is a digital data-capture solution that supports laboratory operations by optimizing workflows.

Similar to MES software, LES systems help pharma companies remain compliant with regulatory requirements and drive efficiency into laboratory activities. LES systems facilitate real-time redlining and proposing method changes, as well as alerting users of data issues.

Empowered with this information, scientists can easily locate and resolve exceptions as they arise, and ensure drug purity throughout the development (preclinical) lifecycle.

What are other names for laboratory execution systems?

Depending on the organization, the term used to describe a laboratory execution system may vary. 

Common names for LES systems include: 

  • Laboratory information system (LIS)
  • Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN)
  • Laboratory management systems

These terms are interchangeable and all refer to the same solution. That said, the specific software capabilities of each LES often vary by company. 

What is a laboratory execution system for pharma?

Laboratory execution systems for pharma are computerized solutions that support laboratory operations and improve method authoring and execution. Laboratory management systems optimize quality control by providing scientists with the ability to manage experiments and lab resources at scale, flag and resolve exceptions in real time, and execute test methods on devices.

LES systems also accelerate batch production by enhancing collaboration and providing users with the information they need, when they need it. This allows pharma companies to release batches faster while ensuring safety and efficiency. 

How are laboratory execution systems used in pharma?

Laboratory execution systems are disrupting the pharmaceutical industry by shifting companies away from paper-based solutions to modern, cutting-edge computerized systems. 

LES systems enhance drug development, process development, and production by optimizing methods, workflows, monitoring processes, and capturing data in real time.

What’s more, many pharma companies are adopting MES solutions in conjunction with their LES systems. Combined, these solutions empower scientists and operators to work together throughout the batch manufacturing lifecycle to prevent deviations and achieve faster batch release. 

Why are laboratory execution systems important in pharma?

A laboratory execution system is important for pharma because it supports operations and improves quality and efficiency. A typical drug takes 10 to 12 years to commercialize (sometimes longer). Fortunately, with an LES system, pharma companies can expedite the lab testing processes while maintaining compliance with regulatory bodies. 

Some of the benefits of LES pharma solutions include:

  • Product & process development
  • QC method authoring and execution
  • QA/QC management
  • Electronic records and data capture
  • Standard operation procedure compliance
  • Easy sample, material, and instrument tracking
  • Integrations with other systems (e.g. instruments, MES solutions, LIMS)

Rather than wasting time manually recording data (which is not only time-consuming, but may also lead to transcription errors), scientists can use cloud-based LES solutions to capture and organize all their data in real time.

Plus, LES solutions enhance collaboration — locally and globally — thereby reducing workplace silos and eliminating unnecessary delays. As a result, pharma companies can test and release batches with speed and accuracy every time.