New on Science Exchange: Focus on Spectrometry

October 4, 2017 | Posted by Team in New Innovations, Research |

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

This installment of New on Science Exchange features spectrometry experts at CMP Scientific, Protypia, CovalX, Nightingale Health, and The Scripps Center for Metabolomics. Ready.. set … analyze.

Emass-II Ion Source CMP Scientific

CMP Scientific: Capillary electrophoresis – mass spectrometry (CE-MS) experts

Analytical researchers frustrated by the long separation times, high sample requirements, or low throughput of LC-MS have long been attracted to the advantages of CE-MS.

In 2015, the CE-MS technique was revolutionized — in that year, Brooklyn, New York-based CMP Scientific pioneered the EMASS-II CE-MS ion source, a novel interface between the capillary and the mass spectrometer’s electrospray emitter that conferred nanoflow sensitivity and high electrospray efficiency.

Since then, CMP Scientific has gained a proven track record for helping drug discovery and development companies develop CE-MS methods for pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical analysis. Will your research program be the next to benefit from CE-MS technology?

Connect with the CMP Scientific team on Science Exchange.

 

The Scripps Center for Metabolomics: Respected mass spec core exposes the exposome

What are the biological effects of the exposome — i.e., the sum of all environmental toxicants, food contaminants and supplements, drugs, and antibiotics your body is exposed to daily?

Thanks to XCMS/METLIN, a software combined with a cloud-based database founded by the researchers at the Scripps Center for Mass Spectrometry and Metabolomics, investigations into the elusive exposome are now possible. On September 25, the lab published the results of their initial study — and we were very excited to have such a groundbreaking team join the Science Exchange network!

The facility serves its customers both at Scripps Research Institute as well as in the broader biotechnology community with its analytical expertise, for routine as well as specialty projects. They offer not only ESI, MALDI, and GC/MS of a wide range of samples and analytes, but also access to the world’s leading metabolomics/lipidomics platform.

 

Nightingale Health: Epidemiology-scale metabolomics, using NMR

Based in Helsinki, Finland, Nightingale Health has been transforming population health studies using its novel, NMR spectroscopy-based platform to detect multiple metabolites, across diverse pathways, in human plasma and serum. This fully automated biomarker quantification method can provide superior repeatability compared to mass spectrometry methods and is coupled with automated quality control.

Now available on Science Exchange, Nightingale Health’s services are accessible to researchers seeking novel biomarkers for large population studies of cardiovascular health, diabetes, and other aspects of metabolic syndrome.

 

Protypia: Advancing immunooncology through quantitative proteomics

The complexity of immune checkpoint signaling has led the field to the conclusion that there are more determinants to immunotherapeutic efficacy than PD-1 or PD-L1 expression alone. Vanderbilt University’s Daniel Liebler, President and Founder of Protypia, has used his team’s expertise in quantitative proteomics to show that differential glycation of checkpoint signaling proteins could affect tissue staining results as well as signaling protein function [abstract].

Visit the Protypia storefront to request a quote for your proteomics project — this team might just enable your next drug discovery breakthrough.

 

CovalX: High-Mass MALDI yields cost-effective info on epitopes

Founded in 2005, this global, fast-growing service provider established its prominence by developing a very differentiated technology  — fast, sensitive and accurate analysis of protein complexes by High-Mass MALDI mass spectrometry. Unfragmented and undigested, the protein complexes are detected intact using specially developed cross-linking reagents and high-mass detection system.

Combined with CovalX’s covalent crosslinking technology, this mass spectrometry method provides a method for epitope mapping that is faster and more cost-effective than many other conformational analysis techniques. For researchers analyzing protein biotherapeutics and biosimilars, it’s an attractive option.

 

Browse these and other new service providers on Science Exchange today!

 

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!

 

New on Science Exchange: ActiveMotif, Optopatch, & CV Tox for World Heart Day

September 20, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, New Innovations, Research |

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

We observe World Heart Day at Science Exchange by highlighting a novel technology for assessing cardiac safety, from the Efimov Lab at George Washington University. Other newcomers on our platform that we present to you are ActiveMotif, Oncodesign, QurAlis, and Worldwide Clinical Trials.

ActiveMotif: Time to RIME (Rapid IP-MS of endogenous proteins)

It’s the 20th anniversary of the discovery of chromatin — and researchers can treat their favorite chromatin samples to ActiveMotif’s RIME service (Rapid immunoprecipitation mass spectrometry of endogenous

RIME Method ActiveMotif

RIME service from ActiveMotif includes nuclear isolation, sonication, IP, purification, tryptic digestion, MS, and data analysis

proteins). It is an ideal method for identifying transcriptional cofactors and other associated proteins within multi-protein complexes, and is often performed in parallel with ChIP-seq.

A leading provider of kits and services for studying gene regulation (both genetic and epigenetic), ActiveMotif is no stranger to chromatin. RIME is just one of a comprehensive menu of gene regulation services that ActiveMotif offers through Science Exchange — visit the storefront to browse their capabilities.

 

QurAlis: Harvard team uses Dead Sea microbes in novel assays

Founded in May 2017 by Clifford Woolf, Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, Kevin Eggan, Professor of Regenerative Biology at Harvard, Kasper Roet, Harvard Research Fellow, and Q-State Biosciences, QurAlis focuses the power of Q-State’s powerful, 100% optical electrophysiology platform on novel, stem cell-derived, disease-in-dish models of ALS.

It’s a Dead Sea microorganism that is the basis of the enabling Q-State technology. QuasAr proteins, derived from this microbe, respond to action potentials and synaptic signals by emitting near-infrared fluorescence. These Optopatch assays thus deliver higher throughput and information content than traditional patch clamp assays, and they also provide better resolution and lower phototoxicity than other optical screening tools.

We’re very excited to have QurAlis join Q-State Biosciences on our network, giving neurobiology researchers easy access to the expertise of the QurAlis team.

 

Worldwide Clinical Trials: Early phase services now available on Science Exchange

In the high-stakes service category of clinical trials, Worldwide stands out. In fact, Worldwide’s Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, Michael F. Murphy, M.D., Ph.D., was recently named one of the PharmaVOICE 100 Most Inspiring People of 2017 — for the impact of Dr. Murphy’s dedication to innovation.

Continuously working to improve trial design and patient outcomes, Worldwide now offers early phase services on the Science Exchange network. Click on the Worldwide storefront to access this major global CRO without needing a separate contract.

 

Efimov Lab: Predictive preclinical models of cardiovascular toxicology

An apt addition to the Science Exchange platform, in time for World Heart Day (September 29!), is the Efimov Laboratory at George Washington University.

Known around the world as a leader in cardiovascular science and biomedical engineering, Dr. Igor Efimov and his team developed a method for optically mapping organotypic cultures of donor human heart slices, enabling users to test the cardiac safety and efficacy of therapeutic candidates.

The culture method preserves heart tissue architecture and extracellular matrix — aspects of heart health that cannot be revealed by iPSC-derived cardiac cells or other traditional assays for cardiovascular toxicology. Visit the lab’s storefront for a list of their recent exciting publications — this is clearly a team to watch.

 

Oncodesign: Preclinical assessment of anti-cancer therapies

True thought leaders in the field of preclinical drug discovery and development, Oncodesign made the news last year when it partnered with Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop novel macrocyclic candidates and test them using their proprietary xenograft models and imaging technology.

Now, Oncodesign’s services are easily accessible to Science Exchange requesters. We get extremely excited thinking that a requester on our platform with a promising therapeutic candidate may now use Oncodesign’s Predict®, Chi-mice®, Pharmimage® and other platforms to characterize their candidate, speeding it along the path to potential cancer patients. Start a conversation with this leading CRO by submitting your Scope of Work here.

 

 

Connect with a new provider today!

Are you new to Science Exchange? See how it works.

The Robotic Cloud Laboratory for the Life Sciences: Transcriptic

September 20, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, Lab Profiles, New Innovations, Research |

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

 

In this Provider Innovation Profile, we’re proud to feature Transcriptic, whose automated cellular and molecular biology platform enables scalable life science research with flexibility and precision.

Automation is a rapidly advancing area of biotechnology, and Science Exchange hopes to give our researchers access to unique robotics platforms while helping them save on equipment costs and manage laboratory space limitations.

Transcriptic’s robotic cloud lab paradigm means biologists can be running experiments on the other side of the planet from their lab, leveraging a bank of robotic workcells for massive experimentation.

Transcriptic frees researchers to focus on the creative aspects of their science by providing faster, more reliable and repeatable processes with vastly lower capital costs than previously possible.

Differentiators: Transparency, flexibility, multiplex-ity

Transcriptic Robotic Workcell

Multiple integrated automated devices per workcell

  • Transparency: No other service provider on the planet can tell you exactly how they run an experiment on the user’s behalf. Transcriptic provides deep transparency into how users’ experiments were run by executing experiments exactly as specified and also providing retrospective diagnostic data on individual instrument performance during the experiment.
  • Flexible robotics: Being a robotic cloud lab, the Transcriptic system can dynamically provision robotic resources to process samples for users. For example, the system might start the week at a scale of one plate and end the week on hundreds of plates. Users only pay for the resources they use, reaping the reproducibility and throughput benefits of robotics without any of the overhead.
  • Easy multiplexing: The Transcriptic web application makes it easy as checking a box to detect an additional analyte in your sample. When it’s that easy, you can perform multiplexed quantiation of more analytes, starting to generate a more accurate picture of the phenotypic state of your sample.

Featured Service: Mesocale Discovery (MSD) Assay

The MSD assay, validated in many bioanalytical methods per U.S. FDA and EMA guidances, is offered as a service by Transcriptic. The Mesoscale Discovery Sector S 600 instrument is fully integrated with the Transcriptic robotic cloud lab.

The MSD S 600 instrument performs multiplexed detection of up to 10 analytes per well, ensuring the highest data-to-sample quantity efficiency, in immunoassays. Multiple assay panels are available from the V-Plex line, all conducted with complete automated precision by robots in the cloud. Custom panel assays are also available through the MSD U-Plex system.

Why requesters choose Transcriptic

Transcriptic, in collaboration with multiple biopharma companies and non-academic laboratories, has delivered many peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.

Transcriptic presented one interesting study at SynBioBeta 2016. In collaboration with EpiBiome, Transcriptic’s automated platform provided a robust, reproducible and high-throughput method for on-demand microbiome characterization. This workflow captured sample prep through NGS and sequencing analysis in 7-10 days, allowing for fast, iterative cycles of microbiome screening.

Visit the Transcriptic storefront today to request some quotes!

 

New on Science Exchange: Nobel-worthy Nanosensors, MacroDSF, Fluidigm, and More

August 22, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, Lab Profiles, New Innovations, Research |

Nobel-worthy nanosensors

In 2007, Charles Lieber, the Harvard scientist who many say is in the running for a Nobel prize, co-founded Vista NanoBioSciences to enable drug discovery researchers to use his team’s nanosensor technologies for label-free, ultrasensitive detection of proteins, nucleic acids, and even single viral particles.

Functionalized Nanowires Vista NanoBioSciences

Vista NanoBioSciences’ ultrasensitive biomarker detection platform (left) uses functionalized nanowires (“NW”) that respond to interactions with individual biomolecules.

Vista NanoBioSensor

Now available through Science Exchange, Vista NanoBioSciences offers biomarker assays using its portable NanoBioSensor™ and BioTracker™ platforms. Vista’s NanoBioSensor precisely detects and measures biomarkers in a finger-stick drop of blood, other bodily fluid, or tissue culture – without labeling and in less than 10 minutes. Vista’s BioTracker provides continuous monitoring of dynamic changes in the targeted analytes of any biological material.  Both devices are portable, exhibiting very high sensitivity (10³ increase over ELISA), high specificity, across multiple logs of concentration, in real time.

Taking the pain out of protein purification with MacroDSF

Empowered by high-throughput protein purification and structure determination technologies, structure-based drug discovery is enjoying a resurgence.

NovAliX, a new provider on the Science Exchange network, gives you access to the ProteoPlex MacroDSF platform, an exciting tool for rapidly optimizing conditions for protein purification and crystallization.

The instrument quickly optimizes  protein concentration, pH value, salt, buffer, stabilizing additive, etc — potentially increasing a purified protein’s stability or even the resolution of its crystal structure!

NovAliX also offers a broad range of biophysical characterization services to provide a complete picture of the protein of interest.

Fluidigm custom assay development

Interested in Fluidigm’s powerful mass cytometry and microfluidics platforms, but lack the resources to design the perfect assay?

Now you can take advantage of Fluidigm’s expertise using the company’s own team of assay development scientists. Through Science Exchange, you can order custom assays for Fluidigm’s CyTOF®, Helios®, and integrated fluidic circuit-based platforms.

Oncology, from ABL1 to ZAP70

Based in Freiburg, Germany, ProQinase has been supporting oncology research for 16 years. Now on Science Exchange, ProQinase offers biochemical assay services (such as kinase screens), cellular assay services (such as proliferation, invasion and spheroid assays), and in vivo assay services (including immuno-oncology and metastasis models).

The scientific staff at ProQinase are thought leaders in oncology research. At the 2017 AACR Annual Meeting, they presented a novel assay platform to distinguish ATP-competitive from non-ATP-competitive kinase inhibitors.

Medicinal chemistry and process optimization

If you’re looking for a full-service laboratory to execute your chemistry projects, you’ll be happy to see the addition of Kalexsyn, a chemical synthesis powerhouse based in Michigan, U.S.A, to the Science Exchange network.

Whether it’s developing novel scaffolds, SAR, modification of complex natural products or challenging macrocyclic peptides, Kalexsyn’s deep bench of Ph.D. chemists provides IP-enabling expertise.

The Kalexsyn team has produced over 1000 publications and patents and has served over 85 pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

 

Connect with a new provider today!

Are you new to Science Exchange? See how it works.

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.

New Service Providers Available on Science Exchange

August 2, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, Lab Profiles, New Innovations, Research |
Image of Colon Tumor Cells courtesy of OcellO

Image of Colon Tumor Stem Cells courtesy of OcellO

If you aren’t exploring the latest cell culture models of human tissue for nonclinical and preclinical testing, you should be.

That’s the bottom line of today’s Science Exchange service provider roundup — three of the five newest service providers on our platform are experts in developing predictive models.

Advances in predictive model systems

Axiogenesis, based in Germany, develops iPSC-derived models of cardiac tissue, neurons, and other cell types. In late 2016, the company made the news when researchers at the United States FDA published a peer-reviewed study showing that Axiogenesis’s Cor.4U cardiomyocyte model was the most predictive model in cardiac safety tests. Last month, researchers at Wake Forest University used the Cor.4U model to develop a digitally trackable beating-heart biosensor. The future of cardiac safety clearly lies beyond hERG channel electrophysiology!

Generating tissue models with precise spatial resolution is possible using 3D bioprinting, in which Cypre Biotech is an expert. Based in San Francisco, USA, the company focuses on customizing the extracellular matrix of tumor microenvironment models to match certain cancer subtypes. Given the impact of new cancer drugs, including certain immunotherapies, on the tumor microenvironment, technologies such as that developed by Cypre are going to be needed for testing safety and efficacy.

The third service provider in this roundup excelling in the development of clinically relevant microtissue models is OcellO, headquartered in the Netherlands. Researchers at OcellO have published numerous peer-reviewed studies showing how combining three-dimensional tissue culture with high-throughput imaging can enable efficient, automated screening and phenotypic profiling. Their most recent publication showed that phenotypic screening of kinase inhibitors could reveal potential new targets for polycystic kidney disease (view abstract in the Resources section of the OcellO storefront).

Analytical methods for translational research

As model systems advance in complexity and throughput, analytical methods must keep pace. Two service providers new on Science Exchange are known for their expertise in developing reliable analytical methods.

Pangaea Oncology is one of the most prestigious laboratories in the world in the fields of molecular diagnostics, pathology, and related analysis services for translational research. We are thrilled to have the Pangaea team, led by expert Dr. Rafael Rosell and Nobel laureate Dr. Santiago Ramón y Cajal, join the Science Exchange platform! Pangaea Oncology was the first laboratory in Spain to be accredited to perform certain genetic tests for cancer in serum/plasma samples, advancing precision medicine.

We also bring you Metis Laboratories, whose analytical expertise centers on radiotracer-based assays. These assays remain one of the most sensitive and specific platforms for assessing ligand binding and compound distribution; however, complex handling requirements mean that outsourcing these studies is far more practical than developing radiotracer assays in house.

Connect with a new provider today!

Are you new to Science Exchange? See how it works.

We’re ready for the Charles River’s 23rd Annual Biotech Symposium!

July 26, 2017 | Posted by Team in Conferences, Events, New Innovations, Workshops |

by Annie Chen, Event Marketing Specialist, Science Exchange | www.scienceexchange.com

We are excited to attend the 23rd Annual Biotech Symposium hosted by Charles River, a leading service provider on the Science Exchange network — and we hope to see you there! Join your colleagues and industry experts from Bluebird, Janssen, Pfizer, and Amgen in Carlsbad, CA September 11–13.

With five different session tracks, join Charles River to learn about:

  • Biotherapeutic development programs and related case studies
  • Biomolecules and modifications to prolong a molecule’s half-life
  • Preclinical development of inhaled therapeutics
  • Microphysiology systems for biotherapeutics

Arrive one day early and attend the pre-symposium workshop titled, Where Does My Protein Go and Why Does It Matter? The Role of PK/PD in Biotherapeutics on Sunday, September 10.

Discounted room rates are available until August 11 and special registration fees are available to SOT BTSS members.

Register Now!

Science Exchange enables completion of the Kakapo 125 Project

July 5, 2017 | Posted by Team in New Innovations, Research, Science Exchange News |

Sequencing the genomes of every individual kākāpō in the entire species

Kakapo bird

The kākāpō is a species of large, flightless, nocturnal, ground-dwelling parrot of the super-family Strigopoidea endemic to New Zealand. With only 154 living individuals remaining, it’s one of the world’s rarest birds.

Genetic Rescue Foundation

Since early 2016, The Genetic Rescue Foundation, in partnership with The Department of Conservation (DOC), The University of Otago, Duke University, New Zealand Genomics Ltd (NZGL), Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and Science Exchange, has funded and managed the effort to sequence the genomes of every individual in this quirky, critically endangered species.

DNA Portraits

The Genetic Rescue Foundation’s fundraising has come in the form of generous private donations, kākāpō DNA portrait sales and a successful crowdfunding campaign on Experiment.com.

To date, the project has successfully sequenced 80 kākāpō. Part of the work was made possible by collaborating with DNA sequencing service providers on the Science Exchange network of 2,500+ service providers. Today we’re thrilled to announce that Science Exchange will be funding the remainder of the project in order to bring it to completion!

Kinghorn Centre and Garvan Institute Logos

The remaining sequencing will be performed by The Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics at The Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia. The Kinghorn Centre is a frequently used provider of DNA sequencing services on the Science Exchange network.

Detailed genetic data for every individual in an entire species is a world first and represents a genomics-focused paradigm shift in modern conservation efforts. The possible discoveries that will come from this rich dataset are limitless. Scientists’ immediate efforts will be focused on finding genetic links to dwarfism, infertility and other diseases and conditions hampering kākāpō population recovery.

The dataset will be controlled by the New Zealand government but will be made available for all non-profit researchers to use. All sequencing will be completed by the end of 2017, with the full dataset available for researchers in 2018.

“Science Exchange has made completing this project possible. They’ve achieved that by providing The Genetic Rescue Foundation with unrivaled access to the world’s best scientific service providers and by stepping in to fund the remainder of the project. This data will steer kākāpō conservation decisions for years and decades to come. It may prove to be the deciding factor in saving this species.”

David Iorns

David Iorns – Founder of The Genetic Rescue Foundation

Science Exchange is proud to be involved with this pioneering conservation initiative. Join Science Exchange today and work with us to accelerate your research.

Navigating the Fragmented Outsourced Manufacturing Sector

May 30, 2017 | Posted by Team in New Innovations, Outsourcing Best Practices, Research, Uncategorized |

Contract manufacturing of pharmaceuticals is growing rapidly and has recently seen an uptick in merger and acquisition activity, such as Thermo Fisher’s bid to acquire Patheon.  Despite the consolidation, outsourced pharmaceutical manufacturing remains a fragmented market, as outlined in a recent report and summary. Discovering and qualifying outsourced service providers is already challenging, and the persistent fragmentation compounds the challenges.

Science Exchange has a unique vantage point for evaluating contract manufacturing services based on our diverse client base and the associated customer experience scorecard data we gather. In this post, we share our insights around navigating the complex contract manufacturing sector.

Demand for contract manufacturing services

The high demand for external manufacturing capacity and expertise is one driving force behind the proliferation of CMOs and CDMOs. According to a 2016 survey, biopharma organizations cite the need to improve quality as the primary reason for using contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) and contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs). Additional goals for outsourcing include reducing time to market, controlling costs, achieving supply chain diversity, leveraging regulatory expertise, and accessing specialized technologies, including those required for complex biologics manufacturing processes.

Competition between CMOs: Innovative manufacturing services

Competition in the marketplace is driving CMOs to develop innovative manufacturing technologies to capture new service categories — choosing a cutting-edge CMO partner can give a biopharma company advantages over its competitors.

Many CMOs and CDMOs have adopted process improvements to provide their clients with faster cycle times and more informed decision-making. These improvements include cloud-based computing, real-time risk-monitoring tools, and integrated quality-by-design during process development. Such process improvements are especially important given the ability of multiple CMOs to manufacture the same API. Nearly 90% of the volume of drugs sold are generic small molecule therapeutics, requiring high production capacity that may be provided by any number of CMOs.

Other CMOs differentiate themselves through specialized expertise – for example, they may be leaders in developing novel formulations, such as nanoparticles or lipid-based delivery systems. Some CMOs offer specialized regulatory certifications, such as CLIA/CAP, GLP, and GCP. Although cGMP compliance is not absolutely required for all CMOs, most reputable CMOs are cGMP certified.

Contract manufacturing of biologics and complex therapeutics: a growth opportunity

It has been challenging to outsource the manufacture of biologics, such as vaccines, therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, and cell therapies, and non-biological complex drugs. These fast-growing segments are faced with regulatory hurdles, a need for specialized drug delivery devices, and inherent risks involved in method transfer and ensuring consistent supply.

Despite the challenges of method transfer, technological improvements are facilitating partnerships between biopharma companies and CMOs in biologics pipelines. Emerging categories of therapeutics, such as cell therapies and antibody-drug conjugates, as well as novel formulations, such as nanoparticles, have benefited from specialized manufacturers. Even though some of these specialty drug products may require bespoke manufacturing processes, CMOs stay agile through integrated quality-by-design during process development and take advantage of connected single-use technologies for streamlined yet flexible bioprocessing.

Barriers facing discovery and qualification of manufacturing service providers

The demand for contract manufacturing, combined with the growth opportunities around innovation and biologics, have resulted in a marketplace with thousands of active CMOs and CDMOs. It can be time-consuming and difficult to identify qualified service providers with the right certifications to meet regulatory compliance requirements. Though many service providers are staffed by innovative, highly qualified scientists with experience in the biopharma industry, many service providers lack such expertise.

Because there are no clear third-party qualification processes or objective benchmarks for quality, and because biopharma companies lack the time to perform regulatory compliance audits of all the service providers in this fragmented sector, over 68% of biopharma companies use a preferred provider strategy for outsourced manufacturing. Relying on preferred providers may decrease the agility of companies to take advantage of emerging technologies.

For contract manufacturing to add maximum value to an organization, responsible teams should consider adhering to a defined sourcing strategy.

Checklist for a successful contract manufacturing partnership

To maximize the advantages offered by a successful CMO partnership, the procurement and external resource management teams of a biopharma company must ensure that their sourcing strategy includes:

  • Keeping abreast of emerging technologies and service providers;
  • Stringently qualifying service providers based on turnaround time, product quality, cost, and regulatory compliance;
  • Identifying service gaps and assessing value of existing preferred providers;
  • Streamlining the contracting process to enable rapid onboarding of innovative service providers;
  • Establishing contracts that protect intellectual property and confidentiality, to maintain competitive advantage and minimize risk;
  • Managing project milestones to ensure that projects are completed on time and as planned;
  • Keeping meticulous records so that methods can be transferred in house or to other service providers as needed.

Science Exchange  streamlines management of strategic manufacturing partnerships

Science Exchange, the largest marketplace for outsourced scientific services, enables biopharma companies to rapidly find and order cutting-edge technologies and services from a proprietary network of 2500+ qualified service providers, including many providers of contract manufacturing services.

Science Exchange’s Provider Management Team continually seeks to build its network by adding high-quality, innovative service providers with cutting-edge expertise in emerging manufacturing technologies.

Science Exchange’s dedicated staff scientists on our Sourcing Team help biopharma manufacturing teams find the best service provider for each scope of work, obtain multiple competitive quotes, and provide end-to-end project management. By using Science Exchange, manufacturing teams save hours or days per project that they would otherwise spend identifying providers, obtaining quotes, and managing projects.

Science Exchange mitigates inherent risks of outsourced manufacturing; all service providers on the platform are pre-qualified through a stringent vetting process and provides information on past performance, using an ISO 9001 Quality Systems-certified process.

Manufacturing scientists at top biopharma companies are already using Science Exchange to access hundreds of qualified specialty providers. The platform is enabling these scientists to order services from known and new manufacturing service providers, such as ImQuest, Almac Sciences, Recipharm, ChemPartner, Synovel Laboratory, Bioneer A/S, Solvias AG, WuXi AppTec, Lonza, and Piramal.

Contact Science Exchange today to discuss your manufacturing needs.

About Science Exchange

We are transforming scientific collaboration by creating a marketplace where scientists can order experiments from the world's top labs.

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