SAN LEANDRO, Calif.—Elsevier MDL, a provider of cheminformatic solutions to the pharmaceutical and life-sciences industries, recently launched a dedicated, phased program to build a robust, scalable, enterprise-strength electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) built on MDL's Isentris technology and scheduled for delivery in 2006.
"We have been managing custom projects for individual customers since 1992," said Keith Taylor, senior product manager of ELN Solutions. "Until recently that was a good approach. But the market has started to wake up in the last year. It is now looking for something more standard, more off-the-shelf. A number of companies have sprung up trying to meet that need. We decided to take our existing experience and turn it into an affordable product."
According to the company, biopharma researchers engaged in experiment planning and data capture/analysis supporting parallel synthesis, single- and multi-step reactions and other complex processes are increasingly demanding an electronic laboratory data capture, report generation, auditing, tracking and storage solution that supports FDA- and OSHA-mandated Good Manufacturing and Good Laboratory Practices, as well as 21 CFR Part 11 compliance. An integrated ELN system offers many productivity benefits: streamlining workflows, automating repetitive tasks, documenting discovery history for patent disclosure and defense and leveraging past work. In addition, an integrated ELN ensures that information captured in the system can benefit everyone in an R&D organization.
The first ELN release will address the needs of discovery scientists, particularly in organic synthetic chemistry, with a scope encompassing authentication, sign/witness, audit, notebook record repository and reporting services with extensive workflow customization capabilities. It will integrate with MDL structure and reaction registration services, with the MDL Discovery Logistics materials management solution, and with both Elsevier MDL and proprietary customer content. "We feel there is potentially a very big market for this," Taylor said.
"In the pharmaceutical industry there are 30 to 50 customers with big pocketbooks. We will certainly be in that market. But there are another 1,000 companies that need these technologies, but have smaller pocketbooks. Smaller companies might have more pressure to simplify and make their workflows more efficient because they have fewer people. This may prove even more valuable for them and we are building our product with that in mind. We will have an out-of-the-box solution for companies with no established workflow."