Veeva Systems (VEEV -0.29%) is the leading company in the life sciences data management space.

In this Industry Focus: Tech video segment, Sean O'Reilly and Kristine Harjes explain exactly what the company does, why that's important, and how it has made a name for itself among Big Pharma players. They also touch upon how long and expensive the drug approval process can be.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on Feb. 12, 2016. 

Sean O'Reilly: Talk to me about Veeva, particularly their first-mover advantage with everything.

Kristine Harjes: Yeah, that's a huge advantage here. What Veeva does, they're a life sciences data management company. They've got two main parts of the business. You have your core CRM business, which is your customer relationship management, and you've got Veeva Vault, which is a content management system.

O'Reilly: What a name.

Harjes: Yeah, it's very catchy.

O'Reilly: I'm sorry to interrupt, their customers are the Pfizers and the Mercks, and the biotech companies that you're talking about?

Harjes: Yeah, through Vault, actually, they're actually working with 34 of the 50 largest pharmaceutical companies.

O'Reilly: That'll do.

Harjes: Yeah, so Vault, essentially, is a system where you take all of the information about processing a drug's clinical trials and approval records and whatnot, and storing it, sharing it, having it be really secure, and being able to transfer these master files to parties like the FDA.

O'Reilly: I know a few people, in fact, a good friend of mine works for Merck. These are not small amounts of data. The amount of analysis and data tracking that goes into one drug in the simulations and everything, it's huge, I would assume.

Harjes: Yeah, it is a mind-boggling task to get a drug to market. There are estimates now that the cost of getting a drug through approval is $2 billion per drug.

O'Reilly: And this is why our drugs are expensive, folks.

Harjes: Yeah. This process lasts more than a decade usually. So, obviously, with that, you're going to have this tremendous amount of information, so, what do you do with it? You need somebody that can store it, and cloud-based software is a really, really intriguing way of meeting this need.