Innovation Drives Operational Challenges that Impact R&D Productivity

December 21, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, Outsourcing Best Practices |

by Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder, Science Exchange
Originally appeared in the 2017 Fierce Life Science Innovation Report (download PDF)

Fierce LS Innovation Report

R&D productivity and efficiency are key measures for evaluating the success of biotech and pharma companies. In theory, investing resources into R&D to boost those measures should yield positive results. Unfortunately, recent trends suggest a less desirable outcome.

A primary driver of the R&D productivity decline is the prolific growth in innovative therapeutic modalities. The first siRNA therapeutics, CAR-T engineered cells, and viral gene therapies have all been approved by the FDA within the past 2 years alone.  This innovation in the biotech and pharma industry has enabled spectacular successes in the treatment of devastating diseases, but it comes with significant operational challenges.

In contrast to the well-known development process for small molecules, these new highly specialized therapeutics require exponentially more diverse and complex technologies and expertise.  So how do biotech and pharma companies access this evolving set of technology and expertise?  Increasingly, they have shifted to a reliance on an external R&D ecosystem.  By outsourcing, companies can manage fixed costs while accessing specialized technologies, particularly in complex R&D areas. As of 2017, nearly half of R&D budgets are spent on outsourced scientific services and the trend is increasing.

But, several challenges prevent companies from realizing returns on their outsourcing investments.

  • First: even though outsourcing represents a rapid path to new technologies, identifying relevant and qualified service providers is a time-consuming task that can take weeks or even months.
  • Second: contracts required to maintain confidentiality, protect IP, and ensure compliance can delay project initiation and add to transaction costs.
  • Third: R&D organizations may have thousands of individual scientists conducting tens of thousands of outsourced R&D projects each year. Maintaining visibility, monitoring performance, measuring success represent a significant management burden.

Science Exchange directly addresses these challenges and has demonstrated a significant impact on productivity and efficiency in R&D programs around the world.  The Science Exchange platform uniquely provides a marketplace of pre-qualified and pre-contracted outsourced R&D service providers to provide scientists with instant access to the innovative services necessary to advance today’s pipeline.  

Get help leading change at your organization: request a demo of the Science Exchange  platform.

Breakout Labs Partners with Science Exchange to Empower its Portfolio Companies with External Research Innovations

December 18, 2017 | Posted by Team in New Innovations, Press Release, Science Exchange News |

Breakout Labs Science Exchange

Palo Alto, CA – December 18, 2017 — Science Exchange, the world’s leading and most secure enterprise platform for outsourced research and development (R&D), today announced a strategic partnership with Breakout Labs, a fund within the Thiel Foundation that backs scientist-entrepreneurs working at the intersections of technology, biology, materials, and energy. The newly formed partnership allows for Breakout Labs to provide its portfolio companies’ scientists with on-demand access to a global network of research suppliers via the Science Exchange-powered private marketplace.

The private marketplace enables instant access to thousands of research tools, technologies, and services from over 2,500+ commercial CROs, academic labs, and government facilities under a single Science Exchange contract. Additionally, the platform users receive end-to-end PhD-level support from the Science Exchange staff scientists in identifying the best external innovations to expedite their R&D cycles.

“Our companies are small innovative startups that, despite being cash-constrained, are at the forefront of radical scientific breakthroughs,” said Hemai Parthasarathy, Scientific Director of Breakout Labs.  “Science Exchange’s marketplace helps these companies adopt virtualization in their R&D process and give them an opportunity to access external resources they need to bring their innovations to market. Science Exchange fits into the ethos that prompted the formation of Breakout Labs by removing barriers for startups to access scientific services that will help accelerate their discoveries.”

“At Science Exchange, we are passionate about accelerating discovery by making connections — in this case, vital connections between scientist-entrepreneurs and experienced providers of scientific products and services,” said Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Science Exchange. “Through this partnership, the scientists at Breakout Labs’ companies, can now focus on what they do best, bringing game-changing scientific discoveries to market, and rely on us to find the best scientific providers to help them accomplish that.”

Breakout Labs is the latest R&D organization to choose to partner with Science Exchange and join more than 30 enterprise clients and Life Science incubators that are effectively managing their outsourced R&D with Science Exchange-powered marketplaces.

About Breakout Labs

Breakout Labs is a revolving fund within the Thiel Foundation that supports early stage companies as they transition radical scientific advances out of the research lab and into the economy. The program backs bold scientists who work at the intersections of technology, biology, materials, and energy. More than capital, Breakout Labs provides additional support through a two-year program that includes introductions to follow-on funders, corporate partners and other resources to drive commercialization. To learn more, visit: www.breakoutlabs.org.

New on Science Exchange: BiTE Screening for Immunooncology, Editing Primary Cells, and Advances in NGS

December 18, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, New Innovations, Research |

–Chandreyee Das, Ph.D. | Senior Content Manager, Science Exchange


Retrogenix BiTE Screening

Screening for immunotherapies: Take a BiTE out of cancer

Bispecific T-Cell Engager Antibodies, or “BiTE” antibodies, are thought to be safe and efficacious candidates for cancer immunotherapy.

But the specificity of membrane receptor binding is hard to characterize.

A unique new technology from Retrogenix has caught the attention of dozens of pharmaceutical companies in the immunooncology space — seeking to use Retrogenix services for discovering immune checkpoint modulators, perform CAR-T cell specificity screening, and more. It’s not surprising that the company was recognized by an award from the Queen of England!

Visit the Retrogenix storefront to connect with their team

 

Unlocking genomics: From tortoises to transcriptomes

In 2006, Fasteris became the first service provider to order an Illumina NGS instrument. This year, they celebrated 20 years of providing NGS services to the world, applying their expertise to diverse studies, ranging from transcriptomics to elucidate T-cell differentiation, microbiome metagenomics, herpes virus infection in wild frogs, and host-pathogen interactions in tortoises.

Earlier this year, the company collaborated on a project to sequence cell-free DNA from over 6,000 cases of fetal aneuploidy — using a novel method developed at Fasteris in 2013.

Start a project today with Fasteris

 

Gene editing in primary cells: Be on the (DNA-cutting) edgeB-Mogen Banner

Gene editing is hard enough — and it’s even harder in primary cells. A company that combines expertise in gene delivery AND gene editing has an advantage in this space — and that company is B-MoGen Biotechnologies, recent recipients of an NIH grant for developing novel genome editing technologies.

B-MoGen offers a proprietary technology for editing nearly any primary human cell type — CD34s, T cells, B cells, etc.

Gain the editing edge with the B-MoGen team

 

 

Survey of Outsourced R&D Leaders Reveals Barriers to Innovation

December 17, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, Infographics, Outsourcing Best Practices |

At our recent 2017 Science Exchange Outsourced R&D Leadership Summit, procurement leaders met with the Science Exchange team to discuss the challenges and opportunities they are facing as they seek to effectively accelerate innovation while mitigating risk in outsourced R&D.

Summit attendees responded to a survey asking them about specific aspects of their R&D outsourcing process. 72% of the respondents agreed that procurement was viewed as a “necessary partner” in an “arduous process”– neither standing in the way nor adding value. In the survey, we uncovered these ‘arduous’ aspects of outsourcing that posed major barriers to innovation.

Science Exchange Summit Survey Highlights fig 1

The bottom line: although outsourced R&D represents a source of expertise and novel technologies that researchers could tap in order to increase their R&D productivity, the barriers to onboarding new providers and the perceived risks to intellectual property are driving many R&D leaders to continue using previously contracted providers.

At our summit, procurement leaders discussed how technology platforms, particularly Science Exchange and its integrated marketplaces for custom synthesis and human biospecimens, could open up access to aggregated reviews of provider quality, streamline contracting, and protect IP — making it easier and faster to access emerging and novel service providers. With these resources, procurement leaders can become truly instrumental in driving innovation in R&D.

More survey results

See how challenging each step of the outsourced R&D process was perceived to be by outsourced R&D leaders:

Science Exchange Summit Survey Complete Results

 

Visit us to learn more about how Science Exchange can help you accelerate innovation through outsourced R&D.

Data Protection and Compliance

December 14, 2017 | Posted by Team in Company, Education, Outsourcing Best Practices |

Are Your Outsourced R&D Partners Ready for 2018?

Compliance Article

The latest news from Outsourcing-pharma.com investigates the compliance challenges being faced by companies, their information technology teams, and their outsourced R&D partners in light of the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The GDPR, which will go into effect on May 25, 2018, has been called “the most important change to data privacy regulation in 20 years,” and will impact most companies that handle personal data of EU citizens.

Although the regulation applies to many contract research organizations (CROs) and their clients, only 8 out of 40 top CROs have achieved EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework certification, which demonstrates adherence to GDPR requirements.

Outsourcing Pharma interviewed Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of Science Exchange, which received Privacy Shield Framework certification earlier this year. Dozens of companies are partnering with Science Exchange to mitigate risk — knowing that, by outsourcing R&D through Science Exchange’s secure platform, they will be protected from fines and noncompliance, even if CROs are not compliant.

Andrew Gutierrez, CFCM, Science Exchange’s Director of Contracts and Compliance, adds his thoughts around the implications of GDPR on pharma, biotech and life sciences:  “With the GDPR compliance deadline imminent next year, companies based in the US and operating in the EU must have a strategy in place to ensure they’re prepared for the impact on data transfer processes, including with their outsourced R&D partners.”

“With the right plan in place, organizations can adhere to regulations and remain competitive, without disruptions to R&D programs. At Science Exchange, we reviewed our processes and quickly received EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework certification. These steps not only protect our customers and the outsourced R&D data transferred through our platform, but also save our customers significant time and resources they might spend ensuring compliance — or paying up to 20 million euros in fines for noncompliance.”

Be safe and GDPR-compliant – contact Science Exchange to request a demonstration of our platform and a free consultation with our compliance team.

 

Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc. Chooses Science Exchange as the Primary Online Channel to Offer Protein de novo Sequencing Services to Scientists

December 11, 2017 | Posted by Team in Lab Profiles, New Innovations, Press Release, Research |

BSI Science Exchange Partnership

PALO ALTO, CA, December 11, 2017 – Science Exchange, the world’s leading and most secure enterprise platform for outsourced research and development (R&D) services, announced the partnership with Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc. to offer online access to its protein de novo sequencing services to scientists around the globe.

As the creators of the well-known, highly established PEAKS Software, the golden standard of de novo sequencing, Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc., offers their de novo sequencing expertise to scientists at a new level by sequencing the samples themselves.

“Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc. has developed a proprietary de novo protein sequencing workflow to retrieve the amino acid sequence of an unknown antibody protein with state-of-the-art mass spectrometry techniques. Through this workflow, the sequence assembly is purely based on de novo sequencing. Therefore, no database, cDNA, mRNA, or hybridoma cell line is required,” exclaims Baozhen Shan, CEO of Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc. “With constant ongoing research at Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc., the advanced technology will ensure our service delivers a highly accurate sequence, identification of sequence variants, glycosylations, and unknown modifications.  By partnering with Science Exchange, these sequencing services will now be available to researchers all over the world to help them make breakthrough discoveries.”

Over the last few years, Science Exchange has undergone extensive growth and recently received a $28 million in Series C funding led by Norwest Venture Partners. By continuing to team up with companies like Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc. Science Exchange is providing researchers worldwide with access to the most important scientific services to advance their experiments.

“We are excited to partner with Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc. to make available its protein de novo sequencing services to scientists worldwide,” said Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Science Exchange.  “Science Exchange is committed to adding the most innovative and qualified service providers to our platform, so scientists have the services they need securely and readily available to aid their discoveries. Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc. met our rigorous standards for quality and compliance while demonstrating breakthrough discoveries in the field of proteomics analysis.”

 

About Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc.

For more than 15 years, Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc. has been changing the field of proteomics analysis, by pushing the boundaries of its computational limits and striving to provide groundbreaking research with the customer-first approach. Bioinformatics Solutions, Inc. believes the only solution is one that incorporates quality and timely results, a satisfying product experience, customer support and two-way communication. This diverse and adaptable group is committed to serving the needs of pharmaceutical, biotechnological, and academic scientists; and to the progression of recombinant protein production and drug discovery research. For more information, visit www.scienceexchange.com/labs/bioinformatics-solutions-inc. Follow the company on Twitter @PEAKSProteomics and @PEAKSAB.

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