Laboratory information management systems rise to data challenge

Integration of laboratory information management systems is moving to a new level as demands for electronic notebooks, cloud solutions, and personalised treatments drive developments. Eugene McCarthy reports

 With the aim of revitalising its electronic lab notebook (ELN) software for multidisciplinary R&D, IDBS has overhauled its E-WorkBook 10 in order to provide users with new ways to visualise, present and use their data.

In an industry where speed to market is essential, the E WorkBook 10 is designed to simplify day-to-day tasks such as authoring content, analysing datasets or visualising complex results - boosting productivity and efficiency.

In particular, the intuitive infrastructure streamlines the path from data input through to reporting, requiring fewer clicks. Via the enhanced web interface, the product is accessible through internet browsers with a web connection, increasing flexibility. Users can also personalise the application for a tailored experience.

This modernisation campaign also sees IDBS move its established spreadsheet technology to the web browser. Users can create and deploy spreadsheets which are fully interoperable across browsers on multiple devices. Researchers across all domains can enjoy greater freedom to access and input data, increasing collaboration and the sharing of intellectual property (IP) across the enterprise.

“Today’s labs are asking for so much more and we’re aligning our software with where the science is taking our customers. We’ve invested significant R&D into E WorkBook 10 to deliver game-changing enhancements to our proven technology. It means researchers can spend less time finding things and more time doing science with advanced data insight,” explained Scott Weiss, director of product strategy at IDBS.

He highlights the five key features of E-WorkBook 10: new ways to visualise and use data, including enhanced charting and canvasing capabilities; simple, intuitive interface for faster working; flexible data access via internet browsers with a web connection; spreadsheet functionality available via the web browser; and a foundation for future industry demands.

The attraction of E-WorkBook solutions is highlighted by the decision of Boehringer Ingelheim to use it to eliminate data silos in the lab. The cross-domain platform has initially been deployed in North America with the next roll-out planned for Germany. Users are benefiting from streamlined R&D with increases in data quality and productivity. Boehringer Ingelheim scientists now can easily and simply capture and record data electronically. Information is both searchable and retrievable for better data sharing and efficiency. Multiple systems are being consolidated for a centralised and highly configurable data flow.

Over the next few years, the system is planned to be rolled out to up to 2400 users globally. The company will also look to integrate E‑WorkBook with existing lab infrastructure as well as external LIMS, SAP and data management systems.

For its part GenomeDx Biosciences has implemented GenoLogics’ laboratory information management system (LIMS), Clarity LIMS, to support whole transcriptome analysis workflows as part of their mission to address unmet clinical needs in the management of prostate cancer.

In the USA alone, there are an estimated 2.5 million men who are living with prostate cancer. An estimated 230,000 are diagnosed each year with over 100,000 undergoing surgery to treat their cancer. According to clinical risk assessment, nearly half of men should be considered for post-surgery radiation even though their cancer may not recur. Using its novel genomic test, the Decipher prostate cancer classifier, GenomeDx is able to predict the probability of cancer spread for men after surgery. Clinicians can then use this information, along with other clinical factors, to better guide postoperative treatment decisions and in certain men, avoid the side effects and high costs associated with treatment.

GenomeDx will use the cloud-based version of Clarity LIMS to support samples processed using the Decipher test. Built specifically for genomics labs, Clarity LIMS provides end-to-end sample tracking, automation, preconfigured workflows, and superior usability. According to Andy Katz, PhD and Chief Operating Officer at GenomeDx: “We chose Clarity LIMS because it supports our laboratory quality assurance policies and it fits into our existing environment through use of the robust application programming interface (API).”

Laboratories worldwide seeking a single, integrated informatics platform can now standardise on one comprehensive LIMS. Thermo Fisher’s integrated informatics solution now comprises method execution, data visualisation and laboratory management, and seamlessly integrates with all popular enterprise-level software packages.

Thermo Scientific SampleManager is the latest version of the industry‘s most widely installed informatics solution. A fully integrated laboratory platform encompassing LIMS, scientific data management (SDMS) and lab execution (LES), SampleManager can be connected to customers' existing informatics infrastructures, regardless of which or how many instrument vendors they use. This enables labs to execute and manage all their laboratory processes easily, with the data rigor and intelligence that laboratory management requires to drive efficiency and profitiability both lab- and business-wide.

Thermo Fisher’s tightly integrated informatics platform now features more intuitive dashboards and an enhanced statistical quality control (SQC) capability designed to detect non-conformance trending before it reaches pre-defined thresholds. For pharmaceutical QA/QC labs, enhanced SampleManager Stability improves study management, sub-study execution and planning and maintenance of study inventory. SampleManager also automatically calculates the expiration date throughout a study to verify label claims.

China establishes national technical support centre for standardisation and screening

 Waters Corporation has announced the inauguration of its Joint Open Laboratory established together with the Chinese Pharmacopeia Commission (ChP). It will be jointly operated by both organisations.

The ChP is an official and authoritative compendium of drugs and has been in place since 1950, publishing compendiums in 1953, 1963, 1977, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, and 2010. Formerly reporting under the Chinese Ministry of Health, it is now is an affiliated commission of the newly formed Chinese Food and Drug Administration (CFDA). The Chinese Pharmacopeia Commission is also officially recognised by the World Health Organisation.

Focus areas for the new laboratory include in-depth research of pharmacopoeia standards, development of testing methods, methods validations and basic and advanced technical training of pharmacopoeia detection methods. The laboratory is also anticipated to play a role as one of the national technical support centres in the field of Chinese pharmaceutical standards.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Mike Harrington, vice president of Waters Asia Pacific and European operations, noted, "Our cooperation with ChP to open and operate this cooperative laboratory in China reflects our commitment to consistently push the boundaries of what's possible by helping to bring more resources to bear that enable innovations in China's pharmaceutical and biopharma industries."

"Our co-operation will meet the needs of ChP's development, while also responding to the demands of even further enhancements to pharmacopoeia standards and improved public drug safety," said Secretary General Zhang Wei of the ChP.

The joint open lab is located within the laboratory building of the Beijing Zhendong Guangming Drug Research Institute.

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