Science Exchange Announces Outsourced R&D Collaboration with UC Davis Venture Catalyst Group

February 12, 2018 | Posted by Team in Press Release |

Science Exchange Venture Catalyst Collaboration

Palo Alto, CA – February 12, 2018 — Science Exchange, the world’s leading and most secure enterprise platform for outsourced research and development (R&D), today announced a strategic collaboration with Venture Catalyst, a unit within the Technology Management and Corporate Relations division of the UC Davis Office of Research which supports the development of new ventures fueled by university research.

Science Exchange will provide entrepreneurs and startups participating in the Venture Catalyst Smart Toolkit for Accelerated Research Translation (START™) Program immediate access to the private R&D marketplace with dedicated PhD-level sourcing support around the clock and a special contracting structure to accelerate their research and development projects.

“The Science Exchange platform solves the challenges of R&D outsourcing by providing scientists with on-demand access to a diverse network of prequalified external providers under a single relationship while also providing sourcing departments with more information and control over their outsourcing spending,” said Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Science Exchange. “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Venture Catalyst to offer a customized R&D marketplace and help its portfolio of companies complete their research and clinical projects more quickly and efficiently. It’s clear that Venture Catalyst is supporting companies with extremely promising technologies in development, and we’re honored to help get their discoveries to market faster.”

With this collaboration, Science Exchange will support client-specific governance, approval workflows, and preferred vendors, all the while enabling instant access to research services and custom products from 2,500 providers in over 6,000 research areas. To help external service providers minimize the risk frequently associated with outsourcing,  Science Exchange’s guarantee ensures complete protection of data, assets and performance of agreed-upon services, all backed by the best-in-class, SOC 2-compliant information technology security infrastructure. Science Exchange’s ISO 9001-certified quality assurance system and dedicated regulatory compliance team also support regulated outsourced work.

Venture Catalyst is the latest innovation and startup support organization to choose to partner with Science Exchange. They now join more than 30 enterprise organizations including most of the top 20 biopharma companies that use Science Exchange to more efficiently manage outsourced R&D.

“Science Exchange offers a unique platform for our startups to connect with a broad network of qualified scientific providers,” said Dushyant Pathak, Associate Vice Chancellor of Research and Executive Director of Venture Catalyst at UC Davis. “We anticipate that working with Science Exchange through the START Program will enable us to commercially advance the discoveries made by Venture Catalyst-supported startups and early-stage companies, in areas as diverse as biomedical and life sciences, agriculture and animal health, and physical sciences and engineering.”

 

About Venture Catalyst

Venture Catalyst furthers the University’s educational, research and public mission by supporting UC Davis students, faculty and researchers in translating science, engineering and innovative research through well-resourced startups, into societal impact.  Venture Catalyst engages collaboratively with internal and external drivers of innovation and works closely with the University’s Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.  In addition to its Smart Toolkit for Accelerated Research Translation (START™) program, Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIR™) Proof-of-Concept grants, Venture Catalyst supports a network of regional technology startup incubators through its Distributed Research Incubation & Venture Engine (DRIVE™) Network.

Innovation Drives Operational Challenges that Impact R&D Productivity

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

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

Fierce LS Innovation Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breakout Labs Science Exchange

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

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

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

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

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

About Breakout Labs

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

Survey of Outsourced R&D Leaders Reveals Barriers to Innovation

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

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

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

Science Exchange Summit Survey Highlights fig 1

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

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

More survey results

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

Science Exchange Summit Survey Complete Results

 

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

Accelerating Innovation and Mitigating Risk in Outsourced R&D

October 25, 2017 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, Events, Outsourcing Best Practices, Science Exchange News, Workshops |

Science Exchange Summit 2017

by Elizabeth Iorns, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder, Science Exchange | www.scienceexchange.com

Science Exchange recently hosted a group of procurement executives from multiple industries for our 2017 Science Exchange Outsourced R&D Leadership Summit. During the informative and interactive sessions, we discussed both the challenges and opportunities that organizations are facing as they seek to effectively manage outsourced R&D services.

From presentations by procurement leaders from major pharmaceutical companies on how they’re structuring procurement to enable innovation, to insights on how Science Exchange is pioneering new ways to make it easier to access innovation from our service providers, one of the key themes of the day was the potential for the procurement function to empower scientists to achieve breakthrough discovery. Here are some of my notes around the theme of innovation:

  • Procurement leaders can drive innovation, with the right tools. A pharmaceutical company procurement leader responsible for driving innovation shared that, in less than six months of working with Science Exchange, they had been able to increase their use of new, niche service providers by 11%.
  • Innovation can be hampered by complex processes. Natalie Foote, our Director of Service Provider Operations, presented with two of our service providers — iSpecimen and LabNetwork, a WuXi AppTec company– about new technology integrations with our platform. These integrations allow Science Exchange users to access the iSpecimen and LabNetwork marketplaces through a seamless access point on our platform — no barriers to innovation!
  • Flexible, agile procurement support helps drive innovation. During a panel discussion that I moderated, procurement leaders from three global pharmaceutical companies examined the need to more flexible and agile when it comes to managing R&D requests, and supporting the R&D business through an end-to-end process. They also discussed how their organizations must strategically examine the best mix of internal and external capabilities, core strengths and capacity when it comes to maximizing R&D innovation.

Another theme that surfaced during the Summit was risk mitigation, including the need to better manage confidentiality, data security and intellectual property (IP), and how to prepare for business continuity — whether caused by security breaches or natural disasters. My notes on the theme of risk mitigation:

  • Proactively mitigate risk. During the panel discussion, procurement leaders talked about the need to move beyond a “paper exercise” for managing risk, to a more proactive and rigorous approach to protecting their companies from data and security breaches and business continuity issues. One panelist discussed the drive for holding the business accountable for third-party risk oversight on a global scale, to move beyond that “check the box” mentality.   
  • Balance risk and innovation opportunity. Another panelist emphasized how important it is to strike the delicate balance between managing risk and enabling innovation, to ensure that businesses are protected without slowing down or blocking important scientific discoveries.  
  • Ask the right questions to assess risk. Our Director of Contracts & Compliance, Andrew Gutierrez, highlighted the need to ask the right questions in developing contracts and programs that will protect a company’s confidentiality and IP.He also talked about the need to verify how your data is being protected by your partners to ensure compliance with global regulations.

The Science Exchange Summit gave our entire team an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the needs of global procurement leaders, and our attendees gained insights to bring back to their own organizations, and a network of experts to collaborate with in the future. I look forward to continuing these discussions with our customers so we can continue to learn from one another and accelerate scientific discovery!

Learn more about how Science Exchange can help you — request a demo today.

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