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Biotech upgrades data management with E-WorkBook

The Customer is a cutting-edge biotechnology company focusing on discovering and developing precision therapies for kidney disease.

Key points

  • The Company’s system at the time was not doing the job to a satisfactory level
  • E-WorkBook added the capabilities that the Company was looking for, such as a scalable assay database
  • The Company can now access updates and new features as soon as they are released
  • It has seen improved data sharing with its external partners and collaborators

The challenge

As part of a focus on developing precision therapies for patients with kidney diseases, the Company had introduced an on-premise electronic lab notebook (ELN), which was used primarily as a document repository.

The system didn’t work as intended, and the Company was disappointed in the system’s performance. The Company also experienced issues concerning the level of service and support provided. The cascading number of problems highlighted the need to quickly move to a more reliable informatics solution and provider. It also considered what capabilities its on-premise ELN was not providing and so should be added with a new solution.

The solution

The Company re-evaluated its requirements and introduced The IDBS E-WorkBook platform, which runs on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud.

“One of the drivers for us, in addition to looking for a higher level of service, was adding capabilities that we knew we would need as a dynamic, growing company that we didn’t previously have. In particular, a big need we wanted to fill was a scalable assay database,” said its Senior Director of Informatics & IT.

E-WorkBook not only offered just the standard ELN features, but also had the ability to actually load and aggregate the data across studies and average assay endpoints for replicate measurements.

The results

The Company now has the ability to load and save different templates for different assays and then report and interrogate the data between the various runs it does.

“IDBS was able to create the environment quickly, and the fact we are able to easily connect to our AWS environment so that our production VPC can talk to The E-WorkBook Cloud is really nice,” said the senior director.

“Everyone on the ‘Discovery’ side of the company gets an E-WorkBook Cloud account when they get hired. Chemists, Biology and Biochemistry all use the system. We also have pharmacology and computational research scientists adding data as well.

The Company can now access new features and updates far sooner than a traditional on-premise system allows – improving service and end-user satisfaction. The E-WorkBook Cloud also schedules automatic backups without user intervention, ensuring the integrity and security of critical data.

When considering a SaaS deployment, the Company wanted to ensure a cost-effective solution in deploying a new technology.

“We did the analysis and found the total cost of ownership for the SaaS offering to be lower compared to deploying in our own environment,” explained the senior director.

“IDBS is hosting the solution and is responsible for security and system management, but still allows for integrations in the cloud and the ability to talk to it from any applications we deploy in our environment.”

The cloud also enables the Company to improve data sharing with its external partners and collaborators.

“Because of the nature of our company, we outsource work to CROs and other service providers. We also have valuable collaborations with key corporate partners and academic institutions,” said the senior director.

“We use E-WorkBook to help us better integrate with these important external parties and improve overall collaboration workflows. We ask everyone we work with to contribute their data into E-WorkBook to help us consolidate the data from different sources.”


How IDBS platforms use AWS

The IDBS E-WorkBook platform leverages cloud-native technologies and design approaches to ensure that IDBS can provide a highly available and secure system for its customers. The technologies used are chosen with key requirements in mind.

AWS provides the largest breadth of services of any cloud provider, and the technologies adopted at IDBS range from data storage and container orchestration to a content delivery network. IDBS is, for example, leveraging AWS Aurora, a database technology designed for the cloud, providing performance, resilience and scalability. For operational needs, IDBS leverages serverless technologies such as Lambda to ensure systems can be deployed and monitored in an automated fashion.

In addition to using AWS technologies, IDBS also engages with AWS to undergo “well-architected” reviews, which provide a means to help ensure IDBS is building systems in a secure, scalable and resilient way.

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