An Electronic Lab Notebook is experiment-centric and a LIMS is sample-centric so many R&D organizations adopt both solutions. Unfortunately, this results in data silos that prevent the context and scientific intelligence of an experiment from being easily consolidated with related sample information and test results. As a consequence, insights that could improve the overall process and ultimately accelerate a product’s time to regulatory submission or commercial launch may be hard to uncover.
- Unstructured data within the Electronic Lab Notebook is not easy to search or analyze. This limits the production of standardized reporting and meaningful data analytics
- In basic ELNs, workflows cannot be managed and integration with other common laboratory software is limited
- Isolation from other laboratory technologies leaves data in a silo
- A lack of sample data means R&D organizations are forced to use another system, such as LIMS. This in turn decreases the visibility of end-to-end workflows, limiting insights that can be used to optimize processes and accelerate time to market
Due to the limitations of basic LIMS and Electronic lab notebook solutions, the convergence of both into hybrid solutions that combine the capabilities of a LIMS and an ELN has been happening for over a decade. A Laboratory Execution System (LES) is a specialized variant of an ELN system that enforces procedural execution of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) or work instructions.
While some hybrid systems may blend capabilities effectively, there are potential trade-offs to consider. Innovative companies are embracing solutions that include digital workflows designed to create a persistent, dynamic data backbone throughout the BioPharma lifecycle. This provides a solid foundation for analytics, accelerated time-to-insight and future digital twin and in silico modeling.