Why you need a next generation chemistry platform
An informative look at the changing landscape of chemical research and why you should change your legacy ELN to future-proof the R&D process and gain efficiency
Can your current system keep pace?
The scale of an organization acts as a barrier to creating value in R&D, and it is recognized that greater efficiencies in product discovery and development can be achieved by empowering decision makers and establishing a dynamic process to fund multiple small projects of interest.
Many companies choose to work with contract research organizations (CROs) to boost innovation, leading to a change in the informatics landscape, as internal and external stakeholders expect to enter and consume data from different sources.
Moreover, the rise of biological drugs is influencing the world of chemistry, generating a new hybrid field of research. Medicinal chemists are required to deviate from the traditional familiar world
of small molecules to derive synthetic variants of peptides, nucleotides and antibodies, the drugs of the future. Users need
to accurately represent these biological molecules in a meaningful manner (as opposed to just identifiers), so the intellectual property is correctly retained.
Dated desktop applications are increasingly perceived as clunky and inflexible, and the overall trend is towards a modern clean web solution that provides easy access to data.
The rise of externalized research
The impact of externalized research means that there is a paradigm shift in activities, whereby a pharma company focuses more on the design of the compounds, and the partner directs efforts to develop synthetic methodologies to access the target compounds.
This change in research culture will require additional expertise in overall project management workflows, along with an increasing challenge to capture, manage, interpret and share data from disparate sources. Additionally, the increasing complexity of data within R&D is growing exponentially, placing a huge cost burden on organizations, making data both the biggest asset but also a considerable liability if poorly managed.
The missing piece of the puzzle for outsourced research is that the external researcher should contribute to the consolidation of scientific knowledge in the pharma company, with full details and context, as opposed to just producing a final QC report.
Experimental data has the most benefit when it can be used broadly across the organization, and not hidden within a silo of a single CRO or external partner.
Unlocking the knowledge (and hence the successful exploitation of data) requires that the data is well recorded, correctly indexed and securely held, whilst being made available to the right people when they need it. Consequently, the role of IT and informatics within the organization needs to evolve, with prioritized approaches to master data management principles, and
the migration and exchange of data with partners.
- Growth in collaborative research is averaging 9% per year
- 77% of pharma & biotech outsource
- 43% of large companies spend >$50m annually on outsourcing*
Development of the next generation chemistry platform
Today’s researchers are working under increasing pressures to develop new products and to improve reaction throughput. Chemists are always looking for novel ways to meet the challenges they face, and having an easy means to enter synthetic experiments and access historical data can save time and unnecessarily repeated experiments.
The strategic development of The E-WorkBook Cloud platform to meet the trend in the transition to the cloud, required IDBS to migrate all the rich functionality from our desktop client. This provided a valuable opportunity to examine all legacy features, how they were used in practise, and how they could be improved.
We identified that ChemAxon’s web technology fit well with IDBS’ strategy of developing a modern web chemistry platform, providing the best experience to our users.
Experts in chemistry partnership
ChemAxon are the world-leader in cheminformatics, with over 500 clients (including all the top 20 pharmaceutical companies). Integrating their technology enables IDBS to leverage their expertise in the representation and storage of complex structures across a wide variety of industries, from classical organic reactions, to more complex organometallics, polymers and biological structures (using the new HELM format). The strategic partnership between IDBS and ChemAxon is deep, and both companies mutually collaborate, to enhance respective products to address the needs of a dynamic research environment.
Progressing from simply managing a single molecule in an experiment, IDBS rapidly developed a fully featured and comprehensive stoichiometry engine, with compliance checking, lookup of reagents, automated procedure writeup, capture of health & safety, creation and management of analytical samples and results, parallel synthesis, and integration to compound registration.
In addition to The E-WorkBook Cloud platform capabilities for managing documents, images, and files, E-WorkBook Chemistry provides chemists with the tools they need to do their tasks, within a clean and intuitive user interface.
Active stakeholder engagement
In the agile development of the next-generation chemistry solution, we believe that engagement with customers and gathering feedback is essential. IDBS runs regular chemistry forums in Europe and North America, in which we engage directly with customers and key stakeholders, to enable them to actively shape the development and direction of product.
These events help to ratify our understanding of the needs of chemists in different industry sectors, the direct benefit is the immediate feedback on proposed designs, functionality and workflows that allow us to prioritise development activities, but also to set the vision of where we want to take the product.
From the customers’ perspective, the benefits are also evident – not only are they empowered and can actively participate in the development of the product, but also they have direct visibility of our progress, which helps them with deployment planning.
In a research environment, no system exists as a silo
In a research environment, there are many applications that are used to capture data, which is transformed and reported to meet the needs of the chemists’ workflow. No system exists in isolation, and hence it is important to provide a seamless exchange of data between applications, minimizing transcription of data wherever possible to reduce errors.
Despite the adoption of the web, many chemists still prefer to work with traditional desktop chemical structure drawing packages. We provide chemists with the capability to launch ChemDraw, BioviaDraw and MarvinSketch directly from the web chemistry application.
As the world of chemistry and biology collide, the unique hybrid structures that are being created need to be managed accordingly. The integration of ChemAxon’s BioEddie™ HELM editor for modified peptides and nucleotides provides a seamless way to manage this data, whilst retaining full chemical context.
Integration and registration
Chemists have access to a variety of databases of compounds and it is expected that they should be able to query them directly, either by name, synonym, barcode or structure. E-WorkBook Chemistry provides federated searching across inventory sources of flat files, databases or web services (including ChemSpider and Perkin Elmer ChemACX).
Open access analytical instrumentation is commonplace, however, chemists also expect to be able to initiate the analysis of samples for formal testing by a service. E-WorkBook Chemistry integrates seamlessly with the E-WorkBook Request module and can be interfaced to your LIMS to manage samples and tasks.
Registration is a key milestone in the creation of a compound. E-WorkBook Chemistry provides integration to the ChemAxon chemical and BioMolecule registration, and the Perkin Elmer chemical registration systems. Automated transcription of data fields makes this process simple.
E-Workbook Chemistry, in combination with Request and Connect, allows chemists to fully monitor and capture the chemical knowledge gained across collaborations, and incorporate this information along with the analytical and biological assays to generate a complete research picture.
E-WorkBook Request is designed to schedule tests and manage multi-step workflows across both internal and external service teams, in an intelligent stage-gated manner. Request is fully integrated into the E-WorkBook platform, enabling end-users to raise work requests for molecule synthesis, analytical tests or biological assays. Users get an on-demand update of progress, whilst allowing service teams to perform the task as part of a templated process.
E-WorkBook Connect is designed specifically for collaborative working in science and engineering, providing a secure, neutrally hosted environment outside of the corporate firewall where two or more business entities can jointly conduct R&D activities in real time. Unlike email and SharePoint, Connect provides the tools required to securely plan, track and execute complex R&D work across multiple teams, in one easy to use, cost effective platform. External work can be captured directly into E-WorkBook to fully describe all experimental detail, and thus add to the corporate knowledgebase and IP.
Supporting all your data management needs
Our purpose is to provide the best cloud-based R&D technology and solutions to the world’s most forward-thinking companies, helping them solve global challenges. Our solution is different in that it is not a set of ELN features or a defined, rigid LIMS — it is a comprehensive data management and workflow solution designed for scientists and researchers.
The E-WorkBook Cloud provides powerful capabilities and flexibility to meet the unique, innovative demands of customers and grow with them as their demands evolve in complexity.
Over 50,000 researchers around the globe rely on E-WorkBook on a daily basis to manage their data, and trust IDBS with their data, business, and success. Our diverse customer list covers a range of domains, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agricultural sciences, fine chemicals, consumer goods, energy, engineering, food and beverage, and healthcare.
Ready to move to our platform?
*Source: Nice Insight Outsourcing Trends, 2015 & 2016