Tools of the Trade

Contributed by:

Carolyn Gretton

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New Electronic and Web-Based Applications, Sites, and Technologies

By Carolyn Gretton

BT Cloud Service Aims to Increase R&D Productivity

Trend: The development of a secure cloud platform is an important step in addressing the externalization, collaboration, and cost pressures faced by today’s pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

The cloud-based BT for Life Sciences R&D service is designed to help users meet the life-sciences industry’s stringent security, regulatory, and compliance requirements and enable collaboration within the industry for increased R&D productivity. The secure, segregated platform allows scientists in pharmaceutical, biotech, devices, and diagnostics companies, as well as in academia and government, to construct and orchestrate in silico workflows and data pipelines to identify new pharmaceutical targets and drug candidates. In addition, the platform enables research scientists to create global project groups and collaborate using social media tools. These groups can use the system to securely upload documents, share results, and communicate via instant messaging, voice, video, or chat to analyze results in an environment that segments data and uses qualified hardware components and workflows specific to the pharmaceutical industry. BT also has formed an alliance with R&D software and services company Accelrys to bring additional scientific applications and features to the platform. “The pharmaceutical industry is facing an extremely challenging environment where patent protected revenue is at risk and R&D productivity is declining, resulting in lower revenue and a continued rise in the cost of bringing new drugs to market,” notes Bas Burger, president of global commerce for BT Global Services. “Now companies can potentially reduce research costs and accelerate time to market by collaborating with third parties in a secure and compliant environment, and bring innovative solutions to market faster through computer simulation and modeling.” { For more information, visit IDBS Boosts ELN Software IDBS, a global provider of data management, analytics, and modeling solutions, has added software company Chem-Axon’s Reactor engine to its ChemBook electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) to support the workflows of chemists synthesizing libraries of compounds in a parallel fashion. Reactor, known as the Parallel Synthesis add-on, is a high-performance library enumeration engine that produces synthetically relevant virtual libraries giving users an efficient, automated workflow that saves time and improves upon best practices in the lab. “Adding the Parallel Synthesis tool to ChemBook provides chemists with what we believe to be the leading technology in the field and further extends our broad ELN capability,” says Neil Kipling, CEO and founder of IDBS. In other moves, IDBS has formed a partnership with the intellectual property and science division of Thomson Reuters involving the integration of their technology through the IDBS ScienceLink scientific content brokerage platform, enabling researchers to access scientific content from Thomson Reuters Integrity, combined with the delivery methods of the Cortellis for Informatics Targets API from within IDBS’ E-WorkBook suite. The combined solution will accelerate biological research in areas such as target identification and validation, experimental pharmacology, toxicology, and biomarker discovery. “Biology is an important research area for our customers, and we are working to gather and deliver the highest quality and most relevant scientific content across the R&D life cycle to help organizations speed innovation and deliver actionable insights and results,” says Joseph Donahue, senior VP of global sales at Thomson Reuters. { For more information, visit In other technology news… Regulatory Focus, the digital publication for regulatory professionals in the healthcare product sector, has unveiled a mobile application that delivers the latest regulatory news, analysis, and articles directly to users’ smartphones and tablet devices. The application currently is available for iPhone and iPad, with an Android version to follow. Regulatory Focus, published by the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS), a global organization of and for healthcare product regulatory professionals, moved to an all-digital format earlier this year, allowing RAPS to increase accessibility and greater depth and breadth of regulatory resources on topics of interest to readers. Available online at, the publication includes free, publicly available online regulatory news as well as features and commentary exclusively for RAPS members. Managing Editor Larry Frum explains the format change was in response to changes in media preferences and the way regulatory professionals are doing their jobs. { For more information, visit Reprints Desk, a Derycz Scientific company, has launched the Article Viewer application for deploying medical reprints on iPads, mobile devices, product websites, and portals for healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients. Article Viewer is specifically designed for use by companies in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and diagnostics, as well as scientific publishing. The app is powered by a content management console that enables authorized administrators to efficiently load and deploy article e-prints, then access on-demand usage analytics. “Article Viewer solves the most painful e-print deployment challenges for life-sciences companies and publishers, balancing the accessibility needs of users with controls for protecting copyrighted materials,” observes Peter Derycz, president and CEO of Reprints Desk. “Whether a company needs an app or has its own, Article Viewer makes it easier to integrate licensed e-prints into field sales, meetings, and multichannel marketing.” { For more information, visit Medical education and strategic marketing agency Sui Generis Health (SGH) is working with Health 2.0 on strategic initiatives and creative planning in conjunction with Health 2.0’s Developer Challenge program, a series of prize challenges in which IT developers work together to develop new or enhance existing healthcare IT applications. Teams participating in the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge are judged by a panel of industry experts based on their innovation and collaboration in healthcare IT and healthcare reform. Winners are awarded cash prizes for the most innovative applications. Health 2.0 supports the healthcare IT movement in a variety of ways, including showcasing the newest and most important healthcare software platforms through its conferences and online media channels; providing market intelligence, data, and research to inform decision-makers and support transactions; helping organizations commercialize, pilot, and scale technologies; and supporting a community of health technology innovators both locally and globally. “Our development platform rewards the most innovative technologies in healthcare services, and as such, we were intent on matching our Health 2.0 team with a marketing team that we felt was equally unique,” notes Jean-Luc Neptune, M.D., senior VP at Health 2.0. “Today, strategically targeted programs that leverage science are more important than ever, and we expect our partnership with Health 2.0 results programs that deliver measurable results,” says Linda Meredith, CEO and founder of Sui Generis Health. { For more information, visit To celebrate its 30th anniversary, creative marketing agency Cramer has unveiled a revamped website with a focus on a brand storytelling approach told by agency talent in their own words. “The re-launch of our website with the ‘Great Stories Start Here’ approach more effectively demonstrates our unique positioning and expertise,” explains Zach Nelson, VP and practice lead for Cramer’s strategic insights and analytics team. { For more information, visit PharmaPros has released Adapt Central, a hybrid solution of cloud computing and database technology that enables the real-time acquisition of data from e-clinical technologies with Web services APIs and automates the integration of external data not available in the cloud. Adapt Central logically stores these data and related operational information in one universal database. Brion Regan, head of strategic development for PharmaPros, says the solution reflects the company’s mission to innovate open technology solutions. “While our industry has seen other data hubs, they have typically been vendor-specific and cost-prohibitive,” Mr. Regan observes. “This product provides companies of all sizes a solution to the challenges they face in dealing with disparate data across the diverse technologies they use.” { For more information, visit AG Mednet’s Submission Quality & Compliance module is built specifically to detect image-reading errors at the investigator site before data submission in order to accelerate clinical trial decision-making. Specific features of the module include confirmation that all parameters in a medical image set are compliant with predetermined protocol ranges at the exam, series, and instance level; assurance that specified image views are present; and verification that the required series was taken in the right sequence. “The multitude of moving parts in a clinical trial makes it highly susceptible to needless errors, both technical and human, which create costly inefficiencies in the system, slow the decision-making process, and can have a significant negative impact on the trial,” says Abraham Gutman, president and CEO of AG Mednet. { For more information, visit E-UPGRADES AND ENHANCEMENTS The latest version of eClinical Solutions’ clinical data repository (CDR) is designed to save life-sciences companies costs by putting them in control of their data assets. The newest features of eGrex 4.1 include a data importer that leverages Web services to access clinical data from any ODM-compliant clinical system; enhanced capabilities for importing clinical data in different formats, such as Excel and SAS; and an advanced security platform that allows clients to manage eGrex 4.1 user rights and grant role-based access to data at the study level. { For more information, visit The latest release of Revitas’ enterprise revenue dynamics (ERD) solution suite delivers new capabilities to the company’s business applications, including its flagship Revitas CARS and Pricing Dynamics products. REVITAS V7.6 offers new benefits in four major categories, including revenue protection, operational transparency, greater agility, and better control and usability. { For more information, visit Simulations Plus (SLP) has announced a number of updates to its simulation and modeling software products. ADMET PREDICTOR VERSION 6.0 integrates SLP’s MedChem Designer molecule drawing and features user interface improvements and further enhanced molecular property predictions. One new feature of the MEDCHEM DESIGNER 2.0 release is the generation of predicted metabolites, first by predicting the sites of oxidation by major human enzymes, and then by predicting the resulting metabolites using a set of customizable transformation rules. In addition to that attribute, MEDCHEM STUDIO 3.0 includes a number of new features, such as a speedy frameworks method to generate classes or clusters of similar molecules, and several new methods to assign numeric scores to molecules based on a variety of existing numeric attributes and user-defined ranges. Enhancements to version 8.0 of SLP’s flagship GASTROPLUS simulation software include simulation of both inhibition and induction of transporters and enzymes in any tissue using the physiologically based pharmacokinetics model, and simulations of drug-drug interactions based on any combination of such actions, as well as enhanced modeling of drug absorption and distribution for ocular and pulmonary delivery. { For more information, visit

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