Tech Q&A with CARE Research

February 12, 2018 | Posted by Team in Drug Discovery, New Innovations, Research |


 

Chandreyee Das, PhD, of Science Exchange recently spoke with Rajan Bawa, PhD, of CARE Research LLC, a leading preclinical CRO combining quality service for clients with excellent quality of life for animals — even for challenging or complex projects.

CD: Rajan, you’ve been in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry for over 40 years, can you tell us your company’s story?

RB: Twenty years ago, I started this histopathology company, Colorado Histo-Prep. In 2010, we acquired one of our preclinical CRO clients, which was CARE Research, enabling us to provide a one-stop-shop for our clients in the preclinical space.

CD: What capabilities does CARE Research have that set the company apart from other preclinical CROs?

RB: One differentiator is our ability to start projects very swiftly, with quick IACUC approval. We have extensive technical and regulatory experience.

Also, our responsiveness to our sponsor needs, being proactive in providing ongoing progress reports — we don’t wait until things go wrong.

We’re relatively small — we have about 20 people — but that means that we have high-ranking people in our organization — say, VP of Toxicology, or IACUC chairs — actively involved in projects. In large preclinical CROs, very often, there’s a study director who sits in his office, doesn’t even make it to the lab until the sponsor comes to visit.

CD: What preclinical services do you offer that are differentiated from other service providers?

RB: One area of strength is in DART (Developmental and reproductive toxicology) studies and ocular studies. DART services are not often offered by small or medium CROs, because they lack the expertise to carry out these specialized studies.

Ocular studies are another of our core competencies — these are also complex studies, you really have to know what you’re doing.

CD: What type of certifications does CARE Research hold?

RB: That’s a great question. We are OLA certified, AAALAC accredited, and we are GLP. We’re inspected regularly by FDA and USDA.

CD: What types of clients do you serve?

RB: We have a mix of different sponsors. We have large pharma, small biomedical companies, university researchers, startup companies.

In addition to our flexibility and ability to respond quickly, we have the ability to do very complex projects, especially in the surgical and ocular area in contrast to other CROs who may stay away from complex studies.

CD: Finally, could you describe your experience with Science Exchange?

RB: Science Exchange allows us to widen our reach, and allows us to find clients we would not have found using our internal resources. Also, the project managers whom I’ve interacted with are very helpful and responsive, and easily available to answer any questions, provide clarifications, etc in a patient manner.

 

Request a quote from CARE Research and get on the fastest path to completing your preclinical studies.

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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.

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!

 

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.

Why requesters love Sourcing Manager & neuroscientist, Zev Wisotsky

February 27, 2017 | Posted by Keith Osiewicz in Company |

At Science Exchange, our Masters’ and Ph.D.-level sourcing managers will help you find the right service provider for your project. Based on glowing customer testimonials, we know that our sourcing managers are one of our company’s greatest assets.

Let’s get to know them better! We’ll start with customers’ favorite, Zev Wisotsky. Trained in neuroscience, he devoted his graduate research to studying taste detection in insects.

Zev

“We love working with you, you are amazing…Thanks for everything you do.” Researcher at Gilead Sciences, to Zev

Featured Sourcing Manager: Zev Wisotsky, Ph.D.

Expertise: Neuroscience

Why requesters keep coming back to him: Zev embodies excellence in customer service. That rare combination of empathy, patience, dedication, and hyper-organization comes together in Zev, seasoned with a dash of effortless communication and a sauce of good humor.

One request he is proud of being able to source: Zev is particularly proud to have once located some difficult-to-find tuberculosis blood and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) samples for a client that was not able to find them. This allowed our client to further their research. They were also excited to be able to start their project quickly once they joined Science Exchange.

How he solved one tough sourcing challenge: There was one overseas shipping error where Zev was able to coordinate with the client and service provider to fix and reship samples with minimal extraneous costs and time.

Experience (education and/or prior roles): Zev graduated from University of California Riverside with a degree in Neuroscience, investigating and characterizing the cellular mechanisms involved in taste detection using fruit fly and mosquito. He then completed postdoctoral research at Stanford investigating the role of brain regions involved in fear memory and addiction through silencing different brain circuits optogenetically.

Likes: Bicycling, singing and playing music

Dislikes: Traffic and stale cake

So…. do flies like beer or water? The answer is in this NPR article about Zev’s research!

Mass Spec: Shedding Light on Cancer Biomarkers with Century-Old Technology

October 5, 2016 | Posted by Christina Cordova in Research, Stories, Uncategorized |

Imagine telling the inventor of the radio that the technology he discovered was now found in almost every kitchen in America, and that you used it to make your popcorn last night. He’d probably be surprised, and maybe you are, too.  Sound far-fetched? Many aspects of modern life rely on technology that was first identified by 19th century physicists and then adapted to new applications. This not only includes microwave ovens from the example above, but state-of-the-art lab equipment which is poised to change the way researchers treat cancer. It might be hard to imagine cutting-edge discoveries in proteomics or precision medicine are the result of technology first conceived over a hundred years ago, but that’s what a new application called proteomic mass spectrometry imaging is doing for cancer diagnostic tests.

Many life scientists utilize research tools built on principles first explored and defined by physics, and mass spectrometry is a particularly impactful example. The technology we now use to measure mass-to-charge ratios of ions for the purpose of molecular analysis was first developed by J.J. Thomson on an instrument called a parabolic spectrograph in 1913. The spectrograph generated ions in gas discharge tubes, then passed the ions through parallel electric and magnetic fields. Subjecting the ions to these fields forced them to move in certain parabolic trajectories which would then be recorded on a photographic plate, as seen in the rather beautiful image below.

Discovery_of_neon_isotopesIt was Thomson’s research at the end of the 19th century that lead to the discovery of the electron, work that eventually won him the Nobel Prize in physics in 1906. To hear a 77 year-old Thomson talk about that research (and how very small electrons are at around the 2:50 mark), watch this video filmed in 1934.

Besides the name change (there aren’t any spectrographs in labs these days), mass spectrometry has come a long way technologically. Advances by subsequent researchers made the technology more precise and the resulting output more accurate. In 1920 the first modern mass spectrometer was developed by Arthur Dempster, of uranium isotope fame, and by the 1970s scientists had begun experimenting with joining liquid chromatography techniques to the process. In 1989 the first LC-MS instrument was launched, securing it as a ubiquitous technique now in its third decade of use. The staying power of this technology is due to its versatility; it is able to directly analyze any biological molecule receptive to ionization. Scientists can use LC-MS to better understand the molecular structure of everything from wastewater to skin cream. The data collected during analysis can inform evaluation of product effectiveness, environmental toxins, or the function of a protein. For this reason it provides valuable research applications in environmental analysis, consumer products, agriculture, and in this case, precision medicine.

Now a bona fide buzzword, the concept of precision medicine was catapulted into the social vernacular in 2015 when President Obama announced the Precision Medicine Initiative in his State of the Union Address. In practice, precision medicine isn’t entirely new; physicians and researchers have long understood the importance of individualized factors in treating or diagnosing patients. The concept of blood type matching and bone marrow donation registries are both examples of precision medicine we have accepted as standard treatments. Advances in biotechnology are ushering in a new emphasis on specialized medicine and carry with it the hope of more effective diagnostics and treatments for ailments like cardiovascular disease and cancer. Much of this promise rests on discoveries being made in the field of proteomics, particularly about the role of proteins in healthy cells versus diseased cells. The form, function, and interaction of these proteins can indicate the presence of disease, identify molecular therapeutic targets, and help define molecular disease taxonomies for future research. Finding a measurable indicator for any of these biological states is called a biomarker, making it the focus of many proteomics and cancer researchers.

It turns out, a very familiar technology is proving to be the best tool for unlocking the largely unknown world of proteins. LC-MS breaks down the complicated protein structures from their three dimensional form, and then into even smaller units called peptides. The quantitative analysis of these peptides makes it possible for scientists to identify protein expression profiles associated with certain cancers. Clinically viable biomarker panels could greatly increase early detection and definitive disease identification in patients, both of which are known to improve patient survival rate. This specificity in diagnosis allows patients and physicians to be better informed when making treatment decisions by understanding the disease on a molecular level. Biomarkers can improve standard differential diagnosis descriptions, which up to now have largely included physical symptoms that manifest at later stages of disease development, like metastasis. Some diseases like malignant melanoma present in very cryptic ways, making them difficult to diagnose, even for highly trained dermatopathologists. Inconclusive biopsy results or histological features that are also found in non-cancerous moles complicate diagnosis and can lead to costly mistakes in the course of treatment for such a common and potentially deadly disease. According to the American Cancer Society over 10,000 people will die this year from the disease, making it the most lethal of all skin cancers. A collaborative research project between Yale scientists and Protea Biosciences is seeking to change that with a new diagnostic technology. In April of this year they announced exclusive licensing for a method which uses unique protein expression profiles to discern the presence of cancer. The results of the first clinical study were presented in 2015, showing 99 percent accuracy in identifying malignant melanoma and benign melanocytic nevi.

Achievements like this highlight the benefit of partnerships between academia and industry, which are becoming more common in many sectors of biotechnology. If precision medicine is to become a reality, it will have to tackle complex disease models that have historically confounded individual pharmaceutical companies or research labs. Open innovation between researchers on both sides advances scientific discovery and expedites successful clinical implementation of potentially life-saving drugs. As scientists work on more complicated human health issues, they will need to find collaborators who are best suited to solve the research objective at hand, while accessing novel technologies best suited for the job.

Just as the concept of precision medicine has expanded with scientific discoveries in biotechnology, the technique of mass spectrometry has evolved to address new research questions with advances in bioinformatics and lab technology. Deciphering the human proteome is still a ways off, but innovative techniques and research partnerships will surely have a role to play in unlocking the power of proteomics for human health. As LC-MS capabilities continue to improve, new disease diagnostics and treatments will be added to the arsenal of options available to physicians. The next time you hear about an advancement in precision medicine (or pop a bag of popcorn), thank a physicist.

Looking for a cutting-edge collaborator like Protea to help with your research project? Visit our marketplace to find the right provider for your mass spec analysis, or any of the thousands of experiment types we offer.

Sequencing the genome of the extinct moa

June 21, 2015 | Posted by Team in Science Exchange News |

The moa were the tallest birds ever to walk the face of the earth. The two largest species, Dinornis robustus and Dinornis novaezelandiae, reached about 3.6 m (12 ft) in height with neck outstretched, and weighed about 230 kg (510 lb).
Moa

Ka ngaro i te ngaro a te Moa – Lost, like the Moa is lost.

Science Exchange software engineer David Iorns has been fascinated by New Zealand megafauna since childhood. In collaboration with Science Exchange, Experiment.com and the Beijing Genomics Institute he’s undertaking an attempt to sequence the moa genome.

Sequencing the moa genome is a challenging endeavor due the degraded nature of ancient DNA and the large genetic divergence of the moa. Large genetic divergence means the reference genomes required to assemble the target genome are substantially less useful than species with very similar living relatives.

Despite these technical challenges David is optimistic the sequencing attempt will result in the creation of an imperfect yet very useful moa genome. This genome will help to clarify ratite evolution and may even form the foundation of a future attempt at species revival as the science of genetic rescue and de-extinction continues to progress.

The sequencing attempt is being primarily funded via an Experiment.com crowd-sourcing campaign. Please help us to make a meaningful scientific contribution by donating to the project.

All contributions made between Monday 22nd of June 8am PST and Tuesday 23rd of June 8am PST will be matched dollar for dollar by Experiment.com!

Fund this project

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 »

New Feature: Lab-Initiated Quotes (LIQs)

July 29, 2014 | Posted by Brianne Villano in Lab Admin Tools, New Feature |

Just a few weeks ago, we introduced you to our new quotes with line items. There has already been another exciting development for the site and we want to share that with you as well!

Lab-Initiated Quotes, or LIQs (“licks”) as we affectionately call them, are a way for any lab to begin their interaction with a researcher by sending a quote directly to them, whether they are already on Science Exchange or not. Some terrific applications for LIQs are in cases when you’ve been discussing the scope of work with a researcher over email or the phone and want to send them a quick quote so they can accept and get the ball rolling on the project as soon as possible. Read the rest of this entry »

Is scientific collaboration broken?

June 12, 2014 | Posted by Tess Mayall in Infographics |

At Science Exchange, we believe that collaboration is the future of science. In fact, we created Science Exchange to help scientists access top equipment and expertise to simplify their collaborations.

We wanted to learn how scientists are currently working with their peers, so we surveyed over 1500 scientists about their collaborations. Check out our infographic below which summarizes the enlightening data on the state of collaboration.

Science_Exchange_Collaboration_Survey

Check out 2000+ experiments you can order on Science Exchange here.

Use the code below to embed this infographic:

About Science Exchange

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