Kakapo 125 – Second 40 kākāpō sequenced

April 11, 2017 | Posted by Team in Science Exchange News |

Kakapo - Trevor

Science Exchange is a collaborator in the Kakapo 125 Project. The objective of this project is to sequence the genomes of all known living kākāpō. We’re pleased to share an update on the project’s progress. NZGL has completed sequencing the second 40 individual kākāpō!

The project is now past the halfway point with approximately 70 individuals remaining before we’ve successfully sequenced every individual in the entire species.

In the News

Scientific American Kakapo

The Kakapo 125 Project has been receiving worldwide media coverage. Here’s a selection of articles published about this groundbreaking work.

Sponsorship

Portraits

Sponsors of individual kākāpō genomes will shortly be receiving their custom DNA artwork. Each DNA portrait is constructed from the genetic data of the individual kākāpō and is guaranteed to be unique. Genome sponsorship forms a key component of ongoing fundraising for the project as we strive to sequence every genome in an entire species.

sponsor a genome button


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

Y Combinator launches Science Exchange-powered marketplace to support its companies’ research and development

April 5, 2017 | Posted by Diana Truong in Company, Press Release, Science Exchange News |

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, USA, 5 March 2017–


Science Exchange, the world’s leading marketplace for outsourced research and development, today announced a strategic partnership with Y Combinator (YC). YC-backed companies will now have exclusive access to the Science Exchange-powered YC marketplace, where they can instantly order experimental services from a network of over 2,500 qualified scientific service providers, all with pre-established contracts that protect companies’ IP and confidentiality.

YC, best known for its investments in tech giants including Airbnb, Dropbox, and Stripe, began investing in life sciences companies in 2014 as the need and opportunity to fund early stage companies in this space became increasingly apparent. The Science Exchange partnership addresses the unique needs of these R&D-focused companies, enabling them to compete on an equal footing with Science Exchange’s established global pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients by readily accessing the expertise and infrastructure housed in the Science Exchange network of service providers.

The Science Exchange marketplace will help YC companies:

  1. Expand access to qualified service providers.
    Life science and biotech entrepreneurs must balance the need to access new, innovative service providers with the time-consuming process required to vet each potential service provider for quality and capability. Science Exchange streamlines this process with a network of over 2,500 service providers that have been pre-qualified through a stringent, ISO 9001-certified evaluation process that includes metrics tied to performance on past projects. Science Exchange additionally supports researchers with an expert Sourcing Team that can recommend the best service providers for each scope of work, further minimizing the risks inherent in outsourcing.

  2. Eliminate administrative overhead.
    Each service provider relationship typically requires a standalone contract that may take months to negotiate and implement. Under the partnership, all service providers on the YC-Science Exchange network are available under a single contract that protects IP and confidentiality.
    Science Exchange also eliminates the need for YC-funded companies to conduct costly and time-consuming regulatory audits of service providers. Science Exchange’s in-house audit team conducts on-site inspections of service providers and facilities to ensure regulatory compliance, ensuring that contracted service providers possess necessary certifications, licenses, informed consent of subjects, and data security.

  3. Save money.
    The Science Exchange-powered YC marketplace enables companies to quickly identify cost-competitive options and provides access to special offers exclusive to YC-funded companies.

YC is the latest organization to choose to partner with Science Exchange, and joins over 30 enterprise clients using Science Exchange-powered marketplaces to manage their outsourced R&D.

“In the last decade, the landscape for biotech firms has changed dramatically,” said Michael Seibel, CEO of Y Combinator. “Bringing a drug to market, which once took millions of dollars and several years of work because of infrastructure costs involved in building a lab, can now happen in a fraction of the time and funding required because of the ability to outsource R&D. YC invested in Science Exchange years ago because we saw the promise of what they were doing to help companies innovate faster, get important products to market quickly, and reduce the friction inherent in starting a business. Now we are excited to offer these benefits to our companies who have brilliant ideas and are meeting urgent market demands, but need the administrative and cost barriers removed so they can focus on their innovations.”

“The Science Exchange platform solves the challenge of R&D outsourcing: we provide scientists with efficient access to a network of highly qualified service providers,” said Dr. Elizabeth Iorns, Founder & CEO of Science Exchange. “We believe, like Y Combinator, that key to advancing groundbreaking research is eliminating the barriers to innovation, and we are thrilled to help YC-funded companies bring potentially life-saving products to market faster.”


About Science Exchange
Science Exchange is the world’s leading marketplace for outsourced research. Science Exchange provides an efficient procure-to-pay platform for ordering services from the world’s largest network of scientific service providers. Through Science Exchange, clients gain access to over 2,500 qualified service providers, all with pre-established contracts in place that protect client intellectual property and confidentiality. This increases scientists access to innovation and significantly improves their productivity because they are freed up from the administrative tasks and delays associated with sourcing, establishing and managing service provider contracts. At an organizational level, the Science Exchange enterprise program enables organizations to consolidate the long tail of research outsourcing spend into a single strategic relationship driving significant efficiency and cost savings. To date, Science Exchange has raised over $30 million from Maverick Capital Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, OATV, the YC Continuity Fund, and others. For more information visit www.scienceexchange.com.

About Y Combinator
Y Combinator is a startup fund based in Mountain View, CA. In 2005, Y Combinator developed a new model of startup funding. Twice a year they invest a small amount of money in a large number of startups. The startups move to Silicon Valley for 3 months, and the YC partners work closely with each company to get them into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors. Each batch culminates in Demo Day, when the startups present their companies to a carefully selected audience of investors. Y Combinator has invested in over 1,464 companies including Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit, Instacart, Docker and Gusto. The combined valuation of YC companies is over $80B.

Keeping your information secure with SOC 2-compliant IT infrastructure

March 1, 2017 | Posted by Diana Truong in Company, Science Exchange News |

If you have ever felt reluctant to outsource projects to a service provider because you are worried about sharing proprietary information, you should know that Science Exchange’s mission is to help assuage those concerns. Our dedicated Legal and Engineering teams obtain all of the certifications and meet all the regulatory requirements that your businesses require.

SOC 2 Certification

Recently, Science Exchange was granted SOC 2 certification (Service Organization Control 2, Type 2), a strenuous test and report on the effectiveness of a service organization’s controls. This meant that external auditors reviewed many of the critical processes in our business to make sure our systems complied with five key principles.

Principles of SOC 2 compliance:

  • Security: Access to our system requires authorization.
  • Availability: Our system operates as we have committed.
  • Processing integrity: Processing occurs completely, on time, accurately, and when authorized.
  • Confidentiality: Information designated as “confidential” is specifically protected.

You can read more details on these principles and their implementation on the official SOC 2 page.

What does SOC 2 certification mean for Science Exchange users?

Any information shared through the Science Exchange website or via email to a scienceexchange.com address is kept completely confidential.

Examples of information we keep confidential:

  • Proposed experiments and collaborations
  • Information on proprietary (i.e., unpublished) materials and methods
  • Experimental results/data
  • Personal identifying information
  • Financial information and payment details

Of course, SOC 2 Type 2 certification is an ongoing process. We will be audited again and again to make sure that your contractual agreements executed with Science Exchange, as well as any revisions to it, remain confidential. We will periodically test our systems for vulnerability and unauthorized access, and we will regularly back up data, keeping backup logs readily available. These are just a few examples of the tireless work we do to minimize the risk inherent in outsourced R&D, helping you advance their research faster.

Visit and bookmark our Compliance page to stay abreast of Science Exchange’s ongoing commitment to your security.

Science Exchange is ISO 9001 Certified

September 16, 2016 | Posted by Christina Cordova in Company, Science Exchange News |

Science Exchange is proud to announce that we are now ISO 9001 certified. The Science Exchange team has always been invested in building a culture of continual improvement, and the work to get ISO certified underscores our commitment to delivering the highest quality services to our clients. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world’s largest facilitator of international standards and supervises national quality management system standards in over 150 countries.

What does an ISO Quality Management System (QMS) do?

A successful QMS system ensures that all aspects of business processes are efficient and responsive to organizational or client needs. Our rigorous QMS requires Science Exchange to adhere to certain standards and procedures which ensure fulfillment of our customer’s requirements. These guidelines provide us with a method of demonstrating our capability to provide services that ensure compliance with any and all applicable regulations across the globe, while continuously improving customer satisfaction.

What does ISO certification mean for our partners and customers?

Rigorous auditing conducted by an independent third party means doing business with Science Exchange secures a high level of quality assurance at every stage of your project. ISO compliance ensures we are working with consistent and effective methods, and that improving customer happiness is an ongoing goal for the entire team. These certification standards require continuous improvement and internal review; engaging clients for feedback and identifying areas of improvement will always be integral to our company philosophy.

ISO certification is just one initiative in our commitment to provide high-quality service to current and future partners. Visit Science Exchange and start your project today.

Kakapo 125 – First 40 kākāpō sequenced

August 4, 2016 | Posted by Team in Science Exchange News |

Kakapo Chick

Science Exchange is a collaborator in the Kakapo 125 Project. The objective of this project is to sequence the genomes of all known living kākāpō. We’re pleased to share an update on the project’s progress. NZGL has completed sequencing the first 40 individual kākāpō!

Portraits

Sponsors of individual kākāpō genomes will shortly be receiving their custom DNA artwork produced by Nimble Diagnostics. Each DNA portrait is constructed from the genetic data of the individual kākāpō and is guaranteed to be unique. Genome sponsorship forms a key component of ongoing fundraising for the project as we strive to sequence every genome in an entire species.

sponsor a genome button

The data created as part of the Kakapo 125 Project will be made available to all researchers working on not-for-profit projects. To register your interest in the dataset generated to-date please send a request to The Department of Conservation (DOC).

We will soon be starting sequencing of the next 40 kākāpō genomes thanks to funding from a highly successful crowdfunding campaign on Experiment.com.

Kakapo Running

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

The Importance of Replication Studies

July 28, 2016 | Posted by Team in Company, Reproducibility, Research, Science Exchange News, Uncategorized |

My TEDMED talk about scientific reproducibility was released today, so I wanted to take the opportunity to provide some additional thoughts about the importance of replication studies.

Every year, billions of dollars are spent funding biomedical research, resulting in more than one million new publications presenting promising new results. This research is the foundation upon which new therapies will be developed to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of illness and disability.

In order to build upon this foundational research, these results must be reproducible. Simply put, this means that when an experiment is repeated, similar results are observed. Over the last five years, multiple groups have raised concerns over the reproducibility of biomedical studies, with some estimates indicating only ~20% of published results may be reproducible (Scott et al. 2008, Gordon et al. 2007, Prinz et al. 2011, Steward et al. 2012, Begley and Ellis 2012). The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest public funder of biomedical research, has stated, “There remains a troubling frequency of published reports that claim a significant result, but fail to be reproducible. As a funding agency, the NIH is deeply concerned about this problem”.

Despite the growing concern over lack of reproducibility, funding for replication studies, the only way to determine reproducibility, is still absent. With no funding systematically allocated to such studies, scientists almost never conduct replication studies. It would be interesting to obtain the exact numbers, but it appears that last year the NIH allocated $0 to funding replication studies, out of a $30B+ budget. In the absence of replication studies, scientists end up wasting precious time and resources trying to build on a vast, unreliable body of knowledge.

It is easy to see why funders might shy away from funding replication studies. Funders want to demonstrate their “impact,” and it is tempting for them to solely focus on funding novel exploratory findings that can more easily be published in high profile journals. This is a mistake. Funders should instead focus on how to truly achieve their stated goals of enhancing health, lengthening life, and reducing the burdens of illness and disability. Although allocating a portion of funding towards replication studies would divert funds from new discoveries, it would enable scientists to efficiently determine which discoveries were robust and reproducible and which were not. This would allow more rapid advancements by allowing scientists to build upon the most promising findings and avoid wasting their time and funding pursuing non-robust results.

Some researchers find the idea of replicating previous studies unnecessary or even offensive. However, it is the responsibility of the scientific community, including funders, to work as quickly and cost effectively as possible to make progress. Introducing replication studies as part of the process provides an effective way to enable this.

If you would like to see funding specifically allocated for replication studies, please register your support. We will share this information with funders in the hope that it will encourage them to establish funding programs specifically for replication studies to improve the speed and efficiency of progress in biomedical research.

by Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D.

CEO and Co-Founder

Science Exchange

About Science Exchange

 

Science Exchange is the world’s leading marketplace for outsourced research. The Science Exchange network of 3000+ scientific service providers has run the experiments for the major replication studies that have been conducted to date including the largest biomedical replication study undertaken (Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology). Additional details are available here: https://www.scienceexchange.com/applications/reproducibility

 

References

  1. https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/budget#note
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
  3. https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/mission-goals
  4. Scott et al. Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 9, 4-15 (2008)
  5. Gordon et al. Lancet Neurol. 6, 1045–1053 (2007)
  6. Prinz et al. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 10, 712 (2011)
  7. Stuart et al. Experimental Neurology 233, 597–605 (2012)
  8. Begley and Ellis. Nature. 483, 531-3 (2012)
  9. http://www.nature.com/news/policy-nih-plans-to-enhance-reproducibility-1.14586
  10. http://www.nature.com/news/reproducibility-the-risks-of-the-replication-drive-1.14184

 

 

Science Exchange Acquires OnDeckBiotech to Expand Scientific Services Marketplace in Biotech Industry

June 7, 2016 | Posted by Team in Company, Science Exchange News, Uncategorized |

Science Exchange, the world’s leading marketplace for scientific research, announced today that it has acquired OnDeckBiotech, an international community and marketplace that connects biopharmaceutical companies with contract service providers. The acquisition brings together two of the major platforms for outsourced scientific services, and strengthens Science Exchange’s market-leading position by significantly increasing its global network of contract research organizations, core facilities, and other scientific service suppliers.

“Over $40B a year is spent on outsourced scientific research by the top 50 pharmaceutical companies alone, and much of this spend is highly fragmented across thousands of individual scientific service suppliers. Platforms for outsourced scientific services, like Science Exchange and OnDeckBiotech, solve the challenges associated with this fragmentation by providing scientists with efficient access to a diverse network of qualified suppliers under a single relationship,” said Dr. Elizabeth Iorns, Co-founder & CEO of Science Exchange. In praising the fit of the two companies, Iorns added, “OnDeckBiotech has developed a number of strategic relationships with industry groups and research foundations which complement the direct channels Science Exchange has developed with biopharmaceutical, government, and academic researchers.” OnDeckBiotech’s relationships, which include MassBio through the MassBio Gateway, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) through BIO BizLink, and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) through ADDF ACCESS, will continue to be supported by Science Exchange as part of its strategy to become the ubiquitous platform for scientific outsourcing across all disease areas and stages of research and development.

As part of the acquisition, Science Exchange will take over OnDeckBiotech’s office in Cambridge, MA, giving Science Exchange a physical presence in two of the world’s largest and fastest growing biotech research clusters. “Science Exchange already works with 8 of the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies, many of which have invested heavily in these two clusters.  Now with offices in Palo Alto and Cambridge, in addition to Account Managers operating remotely in San Diego, New York, and other core markets, our team is uniquely positioned to help researchers inside these organizations access the world’s leading scientific service providers and most innovative scientific technologies,” said Iorns.

OnDeckBiotech’s Founder & CEO, Cliff Culver, will join Science Exchange as VP, Strategy and General Manager, Boston as part of the acquisition. “Cliff has been a visionary in the outsourced scientific services space, and we’re incredibly excited for him to join our team and continue our joint mission of enabling better, faster, and more efficient scientific collaboration,” said Dan Knox, Co-founder & COO of Science Exchange. Culver added, “We can’t wait to get started working with Science Exchange. The industry consistently reports that time and effort spent identifying and managing outsourced contracts hurts research productivity. Our companies have each demonstrated the value we can create by addressing these challenges, and our combined platforms and networks are uniquely positioned to continue to lead the market.”

Iorns concluded, “The total transactional volume of experiments conducted through the Science Exchange platform grew over 500% in 2015, and the OnDeckBiotech acquisition will further accelerate our already remarkable growth in 2016.”

About Science Exchange

Since its founding in 2011, Science Exchange has become the world’s leading marketplace for scientific research. Through Science Exchange, researchers can securely access a network of 1,000s of screened and verified contract research organizations (CROs), academic labs, and government facilities that are available to conduct scientific experiments. Science Exchange has been used by researchers from over 2,500 different companies and organizations, including many large pharmaceutical companies and government research facilities like the NIH, the FDA, and NASA. The company’s mission is to enable breakthrough scientific discoveries by providing researchers with easy access to the world’s best service providers. To date, the company has raised over $30 million from Maverick Capital Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, OATV, the YC Continuity Fund, and others.

Science Exchange Announces $25 Million in New Funding Led by Maverick Capital Ventures

March 23, 2016 | Posted by Team in Company, Science Exchange News, Uncategorized |

Science Exchange, the leading marketplace for scientific research, announced today that it has raised $25 million in new funding. The latest funding round was led by Maverick Capital Ventures and also included participation from Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, YC Continuity Fund, Sam Altman, and others.

Since its founding in 2011, Science Exchange has become the world’s leading marketplace for scientific research services. The company provides secure access to a network of 1000s of screened and verified contract research organizations (CROs), academic labs, and government facilities that are available to conduct experiments on the behalf of scientists. The Science Exchange platform has been used by scientists from over 2,500 different companies and organizations. The company has experienced significant growth in the last 12 months, including seeing the total transactional volume of experiments conducted through the Science Exchange platform grow over 500% in 2015.

“Over $40B a year is spent on outsourced scientific research by the top 50 pharmaceutical companies alone. Much of this spend is highly fragmented across thousands of individual scientific service suppliers, and this fragmentation represents a challenge to both individual scientists and sourcing procurement departments,” said Dr. Elizabeth Iorns, Founder & CEO of Science Exchange. “The Science Exchange platform solves this challenge: we provide scientists with efficient access to a diverse network of qualified suppliers under a single relationship, and at the same time we provide sourcing departments with more information and control over their outsourcing spend.”

8 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies now use Science Exchange, viewing it as a way to efficiently access innovative external resources. Science Exchange also helps tackle one of the most significant challenges facing the highly-trained researchers at these companies: time and resources spent identifying and managing outsourcing contracts. James Lillie, VP In Vitro Biology at Genzyme (a Sanofi company), was recently quoted as saying, “We now look at the Science Exchange as the best way of finding new outsourcing opportunities with collaborators and CROs. We’re shifting more of our efforts for new outsourcing contracts there.”

As part of the Series B, Maverick Capital Ventures Managing Partner David Singer (former Founder/CEO of Affymetrix, GeneSoft Pharmaceuticals, and Corcept Therapeutics) will join the company’s board. “We spent a lot of time evaluating the growing market for outsourced scientific services. We concluded first, that there is an expanding market need for a marketplace to aggregate the thousands of suppliers, and second, that Science Exchange is poised to become the ubiquitous platform for scientific outsourcing,” said Singer.

Andy Weissman, Partner at Union Square Ventures, who has been on the company’s board since 2013, agrees. “With over 500% growth in marketplace transaction volume in 2015 and some companies already spending over $1M each month on the platform, Science Exchange is the clear market leader,” said Weissman.

Science Exchange is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, and has clients, including many large pharmaceutical companies, around the globe. The company has now raised over $30 million and plans to use the new funding to expand its team in all areas including product, engineering, sales, marketing, and customer success. The full list of investors in the latest round is Maverick Capital Ventures, Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, OATV, YC Continuity Fund, Windham Venture Partners, Collaborative Fund, Fenwick & West, Jose Suarez (CEO of TEDMED), Sam Altman, Steve Case, Kal Vepuri, Jenny Haeg, Alexander Levy, Paul Buchheit, and Silicon Valley Bank.

 

 

 

A Voyage Through the PacBio Genome Galaxy

March 16, 2016 | Posted by Team in Science Exchange News |

We are pleased to support the Genome Galaxy Initiative from PacBio. SMRT Sequencing Technology manufacturer PacBio recently unveiled the Genome Galaxy Initiative. The Genome Galaxy Initiative, based on the Experiment platform, supports expedited, open-access genomic projects. It’s a central location for SMRT Sequencing-based projects seeking crowdfunding, and fosters a community of scientists and patrons interested in asking research questions that can only be answered with long-read sequencing. As high-quality genome assemblies from the PacBio RS II and the Sequel System have become even more affordable and accessible, partnering with Experiment is a great fit. Through this program, even more scientists will have access to the most comprehensive view of genomes, transcriptomes, and epigenomes from SMRT Sequencing.

The Genome Galaxy Initiative

One of the initiatives flagship participants is the Kakapo 125 Project. An effort to sequence the genomes of every individual in the entire kākāpō species. This project was made possible thanks to the high quality reference genome generated by Dr. Jason Howard at Duke’s Jarvis Lab using SMRT Sequencing technology.

Kakapo Jasira

Other projects in the Genome Galaxy include efforts to find bacteria within ticks to stop diseases, as well as an investigation into the incredible nitrogen capturing properties of the fern Azolla. In addition to fostering a growing community of SMRT Sequencing related projects PacBio is also offering a grant program exploring the “most interesting genome” as voted for by the public. 2016 applications for this grant are now closed with a winner to be announced in April.

Science Exchange is also assisting in the Genome Galaxy Initiative with a number of its projects including the Kakapo 125 being managed on its platform. As well as hosting many of the projects Science Exchange is also the easiest and most comprehensive place to find SMRT Sequencing service providers.

science-exchange-smrt-sequencing

The Genome Galaxy Initiative is another great example of the industry coming together to support open access science and to help out with funding at the grassroots level. Science Exchange is excited to be affiliated with this initiative and looks forward to seeing many new and exciting stars being discovered there.

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

About Science Exchange

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

Check the Science Exchange blog for updates, opinions, guest posts and the latest happenings at Science Exchange HQ!

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