New on Science Exchange: VR Tech, Cancer Genetics, Stem Cell-based Organoids

October 26, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, Helpful products, New Innovations, Research |

Chandreyee Das, Ph.D. | Senior Content Manager, Science Exchange | www.scienceexchange.com

Nanome Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality Software: Explore biology at nanoscale

From “Fantastic Voyage” (1966) to “A Wind in the Door” (1973), fiction has adored the idea of exploring the body at cellular and molecular levels. Now, virtual reality (VR) software, combined with the computational power afforded by blockchain technology, makes such journeys possible.

For your next computer-aided drug discovery/development (CADD) project, especially if you are collaborating with researchers across multiple sites, try molecular visualization using VR technology — now available from Nanome through Science Exchange.

Visit the Nanome storefront to connect with their team!

 

Cancer Genetics: Connect patients to discoveries

It’s a great day for precision medicine, with the unveiling of the first global directory of patient-derived xenografts (PDX).

Despite the attention given to precision medicine, however, less than 5% of cancer patients are participating in clinical trials. In the discovery phases of R&D, obtaining biospecimens of specific genotypes is also a continuing challenge.

Oncologists on Science Exchange can now accelerate their research with Cancer Genetics, Inc., a global CRO with a history of thought leadership in precision medicine.

Start a project today with Cancer Genetics, Inc.

 

Stem Cell-based 3D Organoids: Predict Preclinical Efficacy and Toxicity

3Dnamics Organoid Hippocampus

Organoids, particularly brain organoids, have enabled breakthrough research in Alzheimer’s disease, glioblastoma, and even ZIKA virus-induced microcephaly. By using pluripotent stem cells as a source of the multiple cell types present in an organoid, preclinical researchers can recapitulate in vivo-like tissue architecture and cellular heterogeneity.

Many of these discoveries were made by the founders of 3Dnamics, a new service provider on the Science Exchange network. The 3Dnamics team was built by stem cell pioneers and neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. If you are in the process of developing a model system for your preclinical or discovery-phase research, take advantage of 3Dnamics’ expertise.

Visit the 3Dnamics storefront

 

Easing the Bioinformatics Bottleneck: OnRamp Bioinformatics

October 4, 2017 | Posted by Team in Helpful products, Lab Profiles, New Innovations, Research, Uncategorized |

By Natalie Foote, Director of Service Provider Operations, Science Exchange | www.scienceexchange.comOnRamp Bio Logo

According to Tim Wesselman, CEO of today’s featured provider OnRamp Bioinformatics, there are only 15,000 bioinformaticians worldwide today to support more than 2 million biologists and other researchers. As a result, analysis has become the rate-limiting step in next-generation sequencing studies, and very large datasets may go un-analyzed to the point of obsoletion.

To ease this bottleneck, OnRamp Bio offers services that empower researchers with insights that they can understand and put into action.

Software as a service: accessible bioinformatics for non-experts

OnRamp Bio has made significant progress in making bioinformatics accessible to larger numbers of researchers. Earlier this year, OnRamp Bio launched a new software-as-a-service for RNA-Seq analysis, to meet the needs of researchers needing assistance in making decisions based on the large data sets yielded by RNA-Seq experiments.

Genomics big data and complex software analyses have historically required highly trained PhDs in Bioinformatics using complicated command-line tools. OnRamp Bio’s intuitive user interface, automated analyses and robust data management make it faster and easier for scientists, biologists, clinicians and other medical professionals to obtain interpretations of genomic data without the complexity of traditional deployments.

“IT complexity has stood in the way of progress for far too long. We’ve combined our deep knowledge of IT and biology to provide intuitive, integrated systems and services that accelerate mainstream adoption of NGS analyses within biotech and pharma,” said Tim Wesselman, CEO of OnRamp Bio. “For institutions focused on drug discovery, cancer research, diagnostic, or therapeutic development, OnRamp Bio can help show how to implement next generation sequencing to securely build into future research, while getting immediate answers more cost-efficiently.”

In addition to offering end-to-end genomic analysis services, OnRamp Bio recently made the news when it launched Rosalind™, the first-ever software platform specifically designed to simplify genomic analysis (named for one of the researchers who discovered the double helix structure of DNA).

Faces of OnRamp Bioinformatics

Jeremy Davis-Turak OnRamp BioJeremy Davis-Turak, VP of Bioinformatics, earned his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology in the lab of Dr. Alexander Hoffmann at UCSD, researching kinetic models of co-transcriptional splicing.  In his studies, Dr. Davis-Turak developed analyses for RNA-seq, nascent RNA-seq, GRO-seq and MNase-seq that were intimately linked with mechanistic models.  He set up the Bioinformatics Core at the San Diego Center for Systems Biology, optimizing pipeline for RNA-seq and ChIP-seq.  

 

Jean Lozach OnRamp BioJean Lozach, Chief Technology Officer, joined OnRamp Bio after more than 25 years experience in Genomics, Bioinformatics and Information Technology at Illumina and UCSD. Jean brought deep experience and knowledge of biology, wet lab operations, microarrays, and next generation sequencing together with advanced bioinformatics, software development and enterprise IT infrastructure. Jean is recognized as an industry expert in genomics and bioinformatics, and has led tens of successful customer deployments of next generation sequencing and informatics systems.

Roshni Patel OnRamp BioRoshni Patel, Bioinformatician, has helped complete many projects for OnRamp Bio’s clients. She earned her BS of Bioinformatics from the University of California at San Diego, and she is passionate about breaking down workflow complexity, improving data metrics and visualization.

 

 

What Science Exchange Requesters are saying about OnRamp Bioinformatics

OnRamp Bio’s storefront shows several testimonials from Science Exchange requesters. One review, in particular, applauds both the breadth and quality of their services: “I highly recommend OnRamp for their Bioinformatics expertise. I have worked with them on several genomics and metagenomics projects and the team is professional, completes the work on deadline and budget, and generated results we hadn’t expected. OnRamp will work with you every step of the way, from project inception, through interfacing with sequencing partners, through developing novel informatics solutions for your project. OnRamp’s bioinformatics platform has many unique attributes that make it appealing, but their data and analysis tracking is just amazing: provenance for all your analyses from the minute the sequences arrive.”

 

Visit the OnRamp Bio storefront today to request some quotes!

 

In vivo Phenotypic Screening: Melior Discovery

August 19, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, Helpful products, Lab Profiles, New Innovations, Research |

By Natalie Foote, Director of Service Provider Operations, Science Exchange | www.scienceexchange.com

Melior Logo

Phenotypic Screening Pioneer Launches Novel Analgesia Panel

In this Provider Innovation Profile, we’re proud to feature Melior Discovery, a pioneer of in vivo phenotypic screening and a leader in the area of drug repositioning.

Melior’s platform evaluates compounds through up to 40 different animal models representing 14 broad therapeutic areas, potentially uncovering therapeutic efficacy that might be undetected using traditional assessments.

Recently, Melior made the news with its novel opioidTRACE® Analgesic Profiling Platform. Given the need to develop low-abuse analgesics to address the opioid crisis, Melior has configured an in vivo platform aimed at specifically profiling opioid therapeutics and related analgesics.

The opioidTRACE® platform addresses the multiple features characteristic of opioids, including rodent models that evaluate acute analgesia, chronic analgesia, respiratory depression, GI mobility, and abuse liability. In addition to opioid testing, Melior has a wide array of animal models of analgesia ranging models of acute pain to chronic neuropathy models. 

[click to view larger view of opioidTRACE® animal models]Opioid Trace In Vivo Models

Backed by Expertise in In Vivo Screening

Melior’s new panel is just the latest demonstration of the team’s unique know-how in applying “production-mode” methods for in vivo screening across multiple therapeutic areas. Its proprietary theraTRACE® platform enables rapid and cost-effective identification of new therapeutic potential by systematically screening candidates in a diverse array of validated in vivo disease models.

Fibrosis is another disease area for which Melior’s panels have exemplified the utility of in vivo  phenotypic screening. Melior has validated models of liver and lung fibrosis; download the validation data for these models from the Resources section of Melior’s Science Exchange storefront.

Why Requesters are Choosing Melior for In vivo Studies

Melior’s capability directly translates to efficiencies combined with high levels of quality for their clients. Positive ratings and testimonials illustrate the benefits that attract repeat business for Melior:

  • High reproducibility and predictive power of in vivo methodologies, models, and assays assuring high quality of data
  • Lower overall costs resulting from the availability of highly cost effective preclinical services from Melior
  • Rapid responses to requests for service and quick turnaround times for preclinical studies
  • Ability to rapidly customize, design, and modify models in response to requests for specialized in vivo services or changes in protocols or unexpected results at any stage of the study

Dr. Sridharan Rajamani, Senior Research Scientist at Gilead Sciences, said that his team chose Melior Discovery because they were responsive and cost effective.  “We are staying with them as a chosen scientific partner because of their thoughtful scientific input to experimental design and attention to detail,” said Dr. Rajamani. “Their expertise and flexibility allowed us to quickly adapt the study design and evaluate additional outcome measures to pursue unexpected activity.”  

Interested in working with Melior Discovery? Request a quote to start the discussion.

Service Providers Aim for Cancer Moonshot at AACR 2017

April 7, 2017 | Posted by Diana Truong in Conferences, Drug Discovery, Events, Helpful products, New Innovations, Research |

Greetings from the AACR Annual Meeting!

This year, we heard Joe Biden’s report on the progress of the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot Initiative, compared immuno-oncology combination therapies, and mulled over the use of CRISPR screening to finding epigenetically controlled loci.

Joe Biden delivers the Cancer Moonshot Initiative update at AACR 2017

We also checked out the groundbreaking research being done by service providers on the Science Exchange network. Their work directly addresses the recommendations made last fall by the Moonshot’s Blue Ribbon Panel, and we are excited to give cancer researchers rapid access to these technologies through the Science Exchange platform!

Here are a few highlights from our exploration of #AACR17:

First humanized mouse model of tumor growth in bone: Pharmatest and Taconic Biosciences

The Moonshot Initiative’s recommendations specifically called out the potential of humanized mouse models to recapitulate the cellular architecture and heterogeneity found in human tumors. Traditional preclinical models that lack functional interactions between tumor, immune system and microenvironment have not been effective at predicting safety and efficacy of immunomodulating cancer drugs.

Taconic Biosciences showcases its novel animal models at AACR 2017

Pharmatest Services, Ltd. and Taconic Biosciences, both leaders in the development of predictive animal models, presented a poster at AACR 2017 showing the proliferation of human breast cancer cells in the bone injection site of humanized mice. The observed tumor growth, bone remodeling, and infiltration by human immune cells were similar to that seen in human breast cancer patients suffering from bone metastases.

Validation of this mouse model would be a very promising development for preclinical testing of immuno-oncology drug candidates and combination therapies.

 

Mass spectrometry imaging to characterize tumor microenvironment: Imabiotech

Imabiotech’s novel mass spectrometry imaging technology provides better toxicity and efficacy assessments in a number of therapeutic research areas, including immuno-oncology.

One challenge facing the Cancer Moonshot Initiative is that novel technologies are required to address tumor heterogeneity (at the cellular and molecular levels). Thus, the Blue Ribbon Panel called out multiplexed, quantitative imaging as a promising way to connect function with localization.

Imabiotech Corporation is a widely-published expert in the emerging field of mass spectrometry imaging, which is a promising technology to address tumor heterogeneity. Their poster and exhibit at AACR 2017 showcased how mass spectrometry imaging could be used to quantitatively characterize responses to immunotherapy in the tumor microenvironment, with spatial resolution.


Toward 3D patient-derived models of breast cancer, lung cancer, and glioblastoma: KIYATEC, Inc.

Another of the most challenging aspects of oncology is the fact that each patient has a different response to a particular therapy. Recognizing this, the Moonshot Initiative’s recommendations included a call to establish patient-derived test models, such as organoids and xenografts, in which candidate drugs could be tested before treatment.

KIYATEC presents 3D cell-based models for drug response profiling at AACR 2017

KIYATEC, whose expertise lies in generating and using 3D cell-based models for drug response profiling, presented their work on breast cancer, lung cancer, and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), in three posters at AACR 2017.

One study addressed the challenges facing small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients, for whom surgical resection is rarely feasible. Therefore, patient-derived tissue is difficult to obtain. KIYATEC was able to isolate functional cancer stem cells and circulating tumor cells, label-free, from SCLC patients, with the aim of developing 3D microtumors from these cells.

KIYATEC also showed that 3D models of breast cancer, which incorporated multiple stromal cell types and immune cells, responded differently to immune checkpoint inhibitors than standard 2D cell culture models. Finally, KIYATEC tackled GBM, for which therapy is particularly confounded by intra-tumor and inter-patient heterogeneity. They developed an efficient method to develop patient-derived 3D models, which may enable more personalized treatments for GBM.

Interested in working with these service providers? Order services on Science Exchange today, or contact us about your project.

Provider Reviews: Net Promoter Scores

October 25, 2016 | Posted by Christina Cordova in Company, Education, Helpful products |

One of the best advertisements for a product or service is a positive review from another customer.  Reviews and ratings are so compelling and commonplace, they help guide our choices in car repair, travel destinations, and sushi restaurants.  We think customer feedback is also incredibly useful when trying to find the right scientific service provider.  For this reason, we began collecting Net Promoter Scores (NPS) from our clients and sharing them on supplier storefronts.  

What is a Net Promoter Score?  In 2003 Bain & Company launched a new way to gauge customer loyalty and satisfaction by creating a feedback survey with a single question: “What is the likelihood that you would recommend Company X to a friend or colleague?”  Respondents answer this question on a scale of 0-10, with 10 being extremely likely and 0 being not at all likely.  Based on their response, customers who provide feedback are placed into one of three categories:

NPS-en

  • Promoters (9 or 10) are very satisfied clients who would urge others to buy from/work with the business
  • Passives (7 or 8) are satisfied, but unenthusiastic about their experience
  • Detractors (0-6) are unsatisfied customers who would share negative experiences about the company

 

The total Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the number of detractors from promoters.  Identifying three key groups within a customer base allows for more targeted interaction with clients.  If someone marks a 6 or below, the company can follow up with that person and try to correct what went wrong.  

We took that idea and applied it to our feedback surveys for service providers.  Our rating system now includes detailed reviews contributed by other customers, as well as NPS information on each storefront.  We understand outsourcing decisions aren’t only based on price, but finding a service provider you can trust to conduct experiments vital to the success of your research.  In order to learn about our customers’ experience with a lab we ask the following questions:

  1. What is the likelihood that you would recommend (service provider) to a friend or colleague (0-10)
  2. How satisfied are you with the timeliness of the deliverables (0-10)
  3. How satisfied are you with the quality of the deliverables (0-10)

Integrating information like this on our platform is just one of the many ways Science Exchange provides industry insights that allow you to reduce risk when contracting with external service providers.  To read reviews and find the NPS information for a service provider, click on the Ratings tab on any storefront, as seen here.

Provider NPS image

Science Exchange empowers researchers to work with confidence and make informed outsourcing decisions across all industries. Search our Marketplace to choose from thousands of screened labs and feel free to add a review of your experience.  The unique feedback and NPS data you provide can help other teams find the right service provider for them.   

Find the right service provider for you and start your project today. 

Visit Science Exchange and See Our New Look!

February 25, 2016 | Posted by Team in Company, Helpful products, New Feature, Science Exchange News |

For many people who use Science Exchange, a visit to the homepage is the first step in accomplishing their research objective. For requesters, service providers, or anyone using our network, the web experience is a crucial part of each project. With that in mind, we are excited to announce that we have refreshed the site, including an entirely new homepage. We have kept the same handy tools you will need to start and manage your research project, but improved the look and feel of some key pages. Search our marketplace for thousands of Science Exchange Verified Providers and request a quote in minutes. If your project is more specialized, you can partner with one of our staff scientists to find a perfect fit for your research needs with our concierge service. Every project is covered by the Science Exchange Guarantee, ensuring that your research can begin quickly, safely, and with complete IP protection. Science Exchange is an ideal partner for researchers who want to focus on science instead of sourcing, and progress instead of payment terms. We work with the world’s best suppliers to make scientific discovery faster, easier, and more reproducible. Providing scientists with a single relationship which manages compliance, contracts, and payments allows them to focus on the research goal at hand while collaborating with our cutting-edge providers. We think breakthrough discoveries should happen at the rate of science, not protracted negotiation. Take a look at our ever-growing network to explore how we can help with your next project.Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 4.34.47 PM

Interview with Matt Owens from Harlem Biospace

March 3, 2015 | Posted by Tess Mayall in Helpful products |

hb_horizontal_logo

I recently talked to Matt Owens, Executive Director of Harlem Biospace. For anyone interested in biotech, startups, or the up and coming New York biotech scene, his interview below is a must-read. Check it out!

Q: Why was Harlem Biospace created?

Matt: There was so much incredible research taking place at the institutions in New York City, but there was no support system for developing that research into a company. One important first step to building those companies and commercializing that research is affordable lab space. So we built an affordable lab and working space for early-stage life science companies.

Q: What is the goal of Harlem Biospace?

Matt: The goal is to lower the barrier for commercializing a hypothesis into a technology.

Q: What kind of companies are you looking for? What’s the ideal stage and mission of the companies that apply?

Matt: The stages are very early, 1-4 people. That still covers a wide spectrum of readiness to ship a product, because the ideas are very different. It ranges from molecules for drug discovery to people with research tools that are ready to prototype and find early customers.

Most are just funding these projects themselves or have family investors, while a few have investors.

Q: What are the companies in your first batch working on?

Matt: It’s an incredibly diverse group ranging from allergy testing techniques to drug discovery to devices for preserving mouse neurons. The individuals behind them all have strong research backgrounds and a well-articulated plan for developing a company around their idea. Read the rest of this entry »

Find relevant scientific articles quicker

October 8, 2014 | Posted by Tess Mayall in Helpful products |

Sparrho imageWhen I was in grad school, I was expected to track and know every new piece of research that related to Indian Monsoons. However, no one told me how to do that. I didn’t have the years of experience and I definitely didn’t have the time to sort through the endless new articles coming out on a regular basis. There is now a website called Sparrho that simplifies the overwhelming process of tracking scientific articles.

Sparrho compiles scientific sources to one place and brings the latest and most relevant scientific news (including papers, grants, and patents) to users. Most importantly, Sparrho learns. As you continue to use Sparrho, it will learn your preferences and needs so that you can spend more time reading relevant articles, rather than digging for them. Read the rest of this entry »

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