IDBS Blog | 25th November 2014
X marks the spot: optimizing cell culture development
Data. It’s everywhere and every day, more and more is being generated by scientists in research and development (R&D) cell culture labs. This data is a highly valuable asset so long as it can be accessed and linked together efficiently for analysis. Data which isn’t searchable or housed with appropriate context ultimately slows down discovery. It’s like having a treasure map you’re unable to read: potential for great things but not a lot of use. So how can we unlock the value of data and make real breakthroughs in R&D?
Just as the world around us is embracing the technology revolution, so too is R&D. So called ‘paper labs’ simply won’t suffice anymore as data continues to proliferate and researchers run more cultures. Sophisticated analysis tools are required to bring this data together meaningfully, and give scientists the flexibility to compare and link results electronically.
Modern electronic lab notebooks (ELNs) ensure that all data is fully traceable throughout the experiment lifecycle from cell line development all the way through to manufacturing. This is not only efficient, but it is also reassuring for scientists from a security and intellectual property standpoint. Data context or genealogy enables researchers to evaluate run conditions which could impact the product quality attributes, without descending into spreadsheets, paper and manually inputting bioreactor data. Easy access to data and analysis is a huge time saver and ultimately means more time for more R&D to be carried out, as Lonza Biologics has found.
Informatics systems also actively encourage collaboration and make it very easy for an experiment to be shared within groups at the upstream, downstream and analytical levels. Across the whole life cycle, different stages require both structured and unstructured data – structured data to trend results and make decisions, but flexibility is also needed to make changes to the process. Sophisticated ELNs can fill the gap, giving users access to core data and the opportunity to track trends and comparisons across cell lines.
Usable data that can be tailored to a specific application is critical to optimizing biologics development. This, combined with the right informatics system, is your map to the ‘X’ which marks the spot. Here you will uncover a trove of opportunities for cell culture development and beyond.