On the cutting edge

A roundup of instrumentation, software and other tools and technology news

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Summer’s nearing its end, but that doesn’t mean the companies in and around the life-sciences, pharma and biotech spaces are cooling down. This month we have enhanced analytical sciences environment for chemistry and biology ELN users, a pipette controller with a feminine flair, centralized statistical monitoring solutions for clinical trials and specialized heat stabilization technology.
ACD/Labs and IDBS partner to deliver live analytical data to ELN interface
TORONTO & LONDON—In a strategic agreement meant to streamline integration within laboratory informatics systems, Canadian chemistry software company ACD/Labs and U.K.-based IDBS, a global provider of advanced software for research and development organizations, recently announced a new partnership to deliver an enhanced analytical sciences environment for IDBS Electronic Laboratory Notebook (ELN) users in the chemistry and biology space.
The collaborative effort has begun with an integration of ACD/Labs’ Spectrus and IDBS’ E-WorkBook 10 web technologies to bring live analytical data into the scientists’ ELN interfaces. Users can now view live-spectral, chromatographic and curve data in their notebook entries for deeper insight, more accurate knowledge capture and data analysis. Users can also transition directly into ACD/Labs’ Spectrus Platform to manipulate the analytical data, with changes automatically reflected back into E-WorkBook 10 and vice-versa.
"This is a significant advance in allowing R&D organizations to search, retrieve and interpret live analytical data from their ELN. Demonstrating our early collaborative work to a wide range of customers at our respective user group meetings recently was an exciting moment for our two companies and reconfirmed the need for improved access to analytical data via the ELN interface,” said Ryan Sasaki, director of global strategy for ACD/Labs. “Analytical data is being used every day to drive chemistry and biology decisions, and it makes sense to provide improved access to this data through other interfaces besides our own.”
“Customers are looking to reduce their overall IT spend, simplify their solution provider landscape and to get greater ROI from their current infrastructures. Our push to innovate and provide an end-to-end analytical sciences informatics environment by integrating E-WorkBook 10 and ACD/Spectrus goes a long way to delivering against all three of these challenges,” noted Paul Denny-Gouldson, vice president of strategic solutions for IDBS.
INTEGRA announces contribution to Dana-Farber
PLAINSBORO, N.J.—Following the launch of its limited-edition PIPETGIRL pink pipette controller in support of breast cancer research earlier this year, INTEGRA recently made a $10,000 contribution to the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
The Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers at Dana-Farber unites many of the world's leading experts in breast and gynecologic cancers with one common goal: to give all women the latest, most advanced care, including innovative therapies that are often available only through clinical trials.
"During our visit to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we learned so much about the incredible work being undertaken at this prestigious patient treatment facility, specifically in the area of breast cancer,” said Marc Hamel, director of U.S. sales at INTEGRA. “Empowered by the laboratory community’s enthusiastic response to our PIPETGIRL pipette controller, I am delighted that we have reached our first milestone—a $10,000 contribution to Dana-Farber.”
At the beginning of 2015, INTEGRA decided to make PIPETGIRL its symbol of its commitment to support breast cancer research, committing to donate €10/$15 for every purchase of PIPETGIRL to research institutes dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer.
And while it may be pink, the PIPETGIRL pipette controller combines all the essential characteristics for productive work with serological pipettes: precision, speed, ease of use, lightweight operating comfort, long battery life and reliability. The PIPETGIRL Is designed for use with all commercially available glass and plastic serological pipettes in the volume range 1 ml to 100 ml.
Risk-based monitoring software
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Mid-June saw CluePoints, a provider of centralized statistical monitoring (CSM) solutions for clinical trials, introduce software to enable analyses of operational data using a risk-based monitoring approach at DIA 2015, an annual meeting that “brings together a global community of life sciences professionals at all levels and across all disciplines all with a common goal to foster innovation that will lead to the development of safe and effective medical products and therapies to patients.”
The new software includes key risk indicators (KRIs) that complement the statistical analysis of clinical data. This approach allows sponsors and contract research organizations to set their own subjective threshold levels, while also statistically examining data objectively to show how a single site's KRIs can be judged against results across all other sites.
CluePoints' award-winning SMART Engine lies at the heart of the solution and has been designed to offer independent and objective interrogation of clinical data, “leaving no stone unturned in assessing data quality and integrity,” the company says.
Additionally, the new software will soon support an online, customizable version of the Transcelerate-recommended Risk-Assessment Categorization Tool (RACT), allowing the CluePoints monitoring platform to provide upfront study/site risk assessment.
Inactivate the pathogens, preserve the biomarkers
UPPSALA, Sweden—In early June, Denator AB announced that in a new issue in the journal BMC Microbiology, scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) demonstrated that the company’s proprietary heat stabilization technology can be used to inactivate both viral and bacterial pathogens as well as preserving sensitive biological molecules such as biomarkers.
The ability to perform reliable biomarker research on infectious diseases can accelerate the process of developing vaccines, antiviral drugs and treatment schemes. Due to the contagious nature of many pathogens of interest, research is conducted in enclosed laboratory facilities with a biosafety-level of 3 or 4 (so called BSL-3 and -4). As most of the proteomic equipment which allows for biomarker detection is localized outside of these enclosed lab facilities, infectious tissue samples face the challenge of complete pathogen inactivation before downstream proteomic analysis can be safely performed. Denator’s heat stabilization technology utilizes conductive heating, under controlled pressure, to rapidly eliminate enzymatic activity in biological samples. Although many studies have reported on the ability of heat stabilization to stop biological changes immediately and permanently, this is the reportedly first time pathogen inactivation has been demonstrated using the Stabilizor system.

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