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14 Posts tagged with the symyx-notebook-by-accelrys tag
6

So iPads are all the rave. They’re cool. They’re easy to use and they keep you in touch with your favorite media anywhere you want. I want one! So, is an iPad ready for the information-intensive scientific lab?  I welcome everyone to comment…

 

There’s a chicken and egg scenario here. Vendors are looking to add scientific software to the iPad but still trying to understand what to support and the value of using an iPad in the lab verses a tablet PC, for instance. There are a couple of challenges: Today there are only a few scientific software applications that work on the iPad and secondly, there is a debate how best to use the iPad in the lab. After all, is the iPad really an efficient way to enter or document information in the lab? It’s a great tool for browsing data such as safety sheets, protocols, dashboards or inventory information. The iPad is also an acceptable data entry tool if limited information is being entered into the touch screen UI. But do you really want to document your whole experiment through an iPad?

 

The challenge for the scientific informatics industry is which applications should be ported, not porting just because we can. Does moving a highly feature rich and interactive ELN to the iPad really make sense, for instance? Or, should just a subset of functionality be ported?  I posit it is a subset of functionality. Focusing on the ergonomics of an iPad, it would be great to be able to browse my lab data, dashboards, protocols and methodologies to get real time information access while doing the wet work in the lab. It would also be highly useful during the wet work to input small amounts of runtime information into my mobile device. But I argue we should not encourage scientists to do all their notebooking in the iPad, just as we should avoid arming scientists with a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

 

I would like to hear what you think?

1,478 Views 1 References Permalink Categories: Bioinformatics, Cheminformatics, Data Mining & Knowledge Discovery, Electronic Lab Notebook, Lab Operations & Workflows, The IT Perspective Tags: pipeline_pilot, notebook, eln, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys, cheminformatics, ipad
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The C&EN webinar in July on Millennium’s ELN implementation generated 145 questions. So I asked Gabriel Weatherhead, who delivered the webinar, if he’d mind answering some of the most-asked questions about Millennium’s experience here. If you attended the webinar (and even if you didn’t), Gabe is open to your follow up questions. We’ll both be monitoring the comments, so feel free to post one if you’d like more clarification on any of the answers. And if you missed the presentation, a recording of the webinar is available.

 


 

Could you provide more details on your evaluation process? How did you communicate your requirements to vendors?

 

We used a formal evaluation process. We communicated a detailed RFP and subsequently correlated responses against a detailed requirements list. Requirements were prioritized according to criticality and use case. Vendor selection then proceeded in two stages. First, vendor demonstrations were assessed by the lab staff. Second, on-site installations of candidates were performed followed by customizations and configurations by Millennium informatics staff. Subsequently, testing was performed by Millennium scientific staff. The final on-site evaluation was considered a critical part of the evaluation process.

 

Were the IP folks supportive from the beginning or did they have reservations? Our IP attorneys are quite skeptical.

 

To our surprise, our IP attorneys were early advocates of the project and worked collaboratively with us to identify and implement a system that would satisfy legal requirements as well as the needs of the scientists. In fact, we have found that the ELN has improved the overall quality and completeness of our records. It’s a win/win situation for the entire business.

 

Who configures and customizes your ELN: the vendor, consultants, or Millennium staff?

 

For the system deployed in chemistry, all application features were customized by the vendor.  Integration points were engineered and configured by Millennium staff. It was a close collaboration to extend the feature set of the product. For the version implemented in biology, 95% of the configuration and template engineering was done by the Millennium informatics group.

 

How are you monitoring use, compliance, signing, and witnessing and how did you arrive at this workflow?

 

Compliance and use analysis is a vital feature of Millennium’s eNotebook platform. We have several custom tools that were developed in-house for monitoring the eNotebook environment. This workflow was developed with the input from legal, QA, and discovery groups.

502 Views 0 References Permalink Categories: Electronic Lab Notebook Tags: biology, eln, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys, implementing-software
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One of the questions raised during Millennium’s C&EN webinar is whether (and how) ELNs can supplant entrenched, paper-based workflows in regulated environments. I thought the answer would carry more weight coming from two people who have successfully implemented ELNs in this area. The experiences are excerpted from a case study based on talks from Adele Patterson at Bristol-Myers Squibb and John Leonard from AstraZeneca at last May’s Symyx Symposium.

 

Adele and John were adamant that paper (and its electronic counterpart, paper on glass) is more a habit than a requirement in regulated environments. Paper notebooks are historically familiar, but were by no means designed as tools for GMP manufacture or GxP analytical R&D or whatever modern, validated workflow you want to name. Paper notebooks had to be adapted to this environment by scientists, quality assurance personnel, and compliance experts. Which means electronic systems can be adapted too, a realization that John says, “motivated all of our stakeholders to collapse our paper paradigms and embrace new electronic ones that would allow seamless transfer of process information through all stages of R&D and ultimately to commercial manufacture.”

 

Paper, ultimately, is just a tool, and once an organization has conceived of it as such, it can start examining how its workflows and processes might change if another tool was used to achieve the desired end. The changes were more than substantive at both AstraZeneca and BMS—they were revolutionary. AstraZeneca’s simple realization that in the electronic world a process can be described by a collection of documents in an ELN enabled it to shave 50% off the time taken to document experiments. Both organizations ultimately created more streamlined and efficient processes based on best practices. They are actually complying with regulations better than they were when they were using paper, and QA groups at both sites, who were initially skeptics of the ELN, became partners in the implementations and champions of the systems.

 

Adele noted in an interview recorded at Symyx Symposium that merely reproducing paper “on glass” provides only minimal value in the long run. The extension of the workflow into a fully electronic environment enables organizations to eliminate sources of error, ensure standard processes are followed, remove cycle time delays associated with movement of the paper or its electronic equivalents, and provide a research tool that automatically create visualizations and report alerts so that laboratory teams can quickly see the information they are generating.

 

“Just because you have always done something a certain way in the paper world doesn’t mean that’s how we have to do it in the electronic world,” Adele says. “Sometimes you have to take a deep breath and step back to determine which steps are really value-added—what is the purpose of a particular step. Our assessment gave us the time to do this analysis and convince all of the stakeholders that we had the right processes in place to stay compliant.”

481 Views 0 References Permalink Categories: Electronic Lab Notebook, Lab Operations & Workflows Tags: case-studies, eln, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys, validated-workflows, process-chemistry
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It’s very fitting that the 6.5 version of Symyx Notebook by Accelrys—the first product released since the merger of Symyx and Accelrys—spans many of the sectors our combined company now touches. We’re delivering improvements supporting chemical process development, production scale-up, and administrative compliance for scientists working in pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, agrochemicals, and consumer products. 

The 6.5 release continues to add specific domain functionality and general core support that lets Symyx Notebook by Accelrys find productive use in a range of labs. In fact, research scientists and their daily activities in the lab act as key constituents and inspirations for our notebook team. And we are seeing broad use of our section templates in analytical, bioanalytical, and biology, in addition to our existing base in discovery chemistry. 

The new functionality in this release is focused specifically on process chemists, who work in areas that are strictly regulated and subject to stringent quality assurance (QA) oversight. The greatest challenge faced by process chemists is identifying, optimizing, and delivering the best process to pilot and manufacturing plants in the shortest time possible while complying effectively and efficiently with regulations and QA mandates. 

As described in the press release, the 6.5 version of Symyx Notebook by Accelrys offers an array of new features requested by customers already working in regulated environments. Crucially, the system offers the ability to search experimental data stored in most legacy Symyx notebooks. Such functionality is clearly valuable to those who have these legacy Symyx notebooks. But the underlying API also provides an opportunity to develop a single portal to any ELN data—whether that ELN is from Symyx or another ELN vendor. 

We’ve put up a lot of information at http://www.symyx.com/notebook6. We hope you’ll check it out. In an upcoming post, I’ll summarize a case study written about ELN use in regulated environments at AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb. As we have completed the release of 6.5 and work on the deliverables for the next release as well as our company integration project, we have two things in mind: strengthening the data capture that is important to our ELN and providing advanced analytics through our combined product collections. This is a very exciting time to be part of the notebook product team at Accelrys.
439 Views 0 References Permalink Categories: Electronic Lab Notebook Tags: eln, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys, validated-workflows, process-chemistry, regulated-workflows
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Today we announce the first major product release since the merger of Accelrys and Symyx. Fittingly, it’s a product that spans many of the sectors our combined company now touches. The latest 6.5 version of Symyx Notebook by Accelrys delivers improvements supporting chemical process development, production scale-up, and administrative compliance for scientists working in pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, agrochemicals, and consumer products.

 

The new functionality in this release is focused specifically on process chemists, who work in areas that are strictly regulated and subject to stringent quality assurance (QA) oversight. The greatest challenge faced by process chemists is identifying, optimizing, and delivering the best process to pilot and manufacturing plants in the shortest time possible while complying effectively and efficiently with regulations and QA mandates.

 

As described in the press release, the 6.5 version of Symyx Notebook by Accelrys offers an array of new features requested by customers already working in regulated environments. Crucially, the system offers the ability to search experimental data stored in most legacy Symyx notebooks. Such functionality is clearly valuable to those who have these legacy Symyx notebooks. But the underlying API also provides an opportunity to develop a single portal to any ELN data—whether that ELN is from Symyx or another ELN vendor.

 

Visit www.symyx.com/elnprocess to learn more about how the 6.5 release of Symyx Notebook by Accelrys supports process chemists. Representatives from AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb discuss their use of an ELN in process chemistry in a downloadable PDF and a short video recorded at the Symyx Symposium. You’ll also find an informative slideshow describing the release. We also encourage you to check out our sibling blog, Symyx’s Life in the Electronic Lab, which will feature several posts over the coming weeks on ELN use in process chemistry and the 6.5 version of Symyx Notebook by Accelrys.

422 Views 0 References Permalink Categories: Electronic Lab Notebook, News from Accelrys Tags: eln, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys, process-chemistry
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According to Gabriel Weatherhead, lead systems engineer at Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, the real value of Symyx Notebook is that it offers an overall platform that lets R&D informatics teams give scientists what they want. [Editor's note: In July 2010 Symyx merged with Accelrys, Inc.]

Gabe made these comments to 438 participants in an American Chemical Society C&EN webinar on Thursday, July 22. A recording of the webinar is now available for download, and you can also read a write up of the implementation.

Building applications that scientists will like and use is at the core of research IT’s mission, but that challenge was amplified at Millennium when it chose to implement an ELN across 10 different biological departments. The workflows and requirements ranged widely, Gabe explained. “Some scientists wanted a blank page that they could fill with information, others wanted stuff pulled in automatically off instruments and fields calculated automatically. Symyx Notebook provides an overall platform where you can build in hooks or just deliver something simple out of the box—whatever it is that scientists want.”

Another big change between the biology implementation completed this year and the chemistry implementation that Millennium started in 2003 was user expectations. “In the age of iPad and Windows 7, users expect more from software,” said Gabe. “They expect things to be streamlined, with shiny buttons. Today’s applications have to do as much of the grunt work as possible behind the scenes. This puts a lot of pressure on the implementation team to provide real value.”

Gabe said that it’s difficult to determine ROI for an application like an ELN. One measure of success for them is that their lab record keeping has been entirely electronic for four years. Productivity-wise, the ability to capture and search information previously bound in paper notebooks—sometimes illegibly—has helped Millennium protect and defend its intellectual property. Additionally, at least 50% of Millennium’s records are cloned from previous records. “The ability to document and set up a reaction has become trivial,” said Gabe, who was himself a scientist at Millennium before moving into research IT. “With the ELN, I could easily set up more experiments than I could work up.”

Gabe was only able to address five of the 145 questions asked by webinar participants, so watch this space—we plan to address some of the most popular questions in future posts.
453 Views 3 References Permalink Categories: Electronic Lab Notebook Tags: case-studies, webinars, eln, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys
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Over 700 people have registered to attend the webinar we are sponsoring on Thursday, July 22--the largest audience ACS has collected for a webinar since it initiated the series! The webinar features Gabe Weatherhead, lead systems engineer at Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, speaking about how his company implemented a Symyx ELN in chemistry and biology. [Editor's note: In July 2010 Symyx merged with Accelrys, Inc.]

I recommend you register and be a part of this exciting event!
452 Views 0 References Permalink Categories: Electronic Lab Notebook Tags: case-studies, webinars, eln, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys
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Looking for tips on how to implement a single ELN across disciplines? Gabriel Weatherhead, lead systems engineer at Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, will present an American Chemical Society webinar next Thursday, July 22, describing how his company implemented an ELN from Symyx. [Editor's note: In July 2010 Symyx merged with Accelrys, Inc.]

Gabe will review how Millennium rolled out the system in chemistry and, most recently, in biology. Discussion points will include

         
  • The key business drivers and benefits of implementing a single ELN platform

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  • Challenges associated with electronically managing biological versus chemical data

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  • Reasons why Millennium’s legal team advocated strongly for an ELN

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  • Strategies Millennium employed to select an ELN and achieve buy-in from scientists

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  • Tips to ensure a successful ELN deployment

 Registration is free. Hope to “see” you there!
460 Views 0 References Permalink Categories: Electronic Lab Notebook Tags: case-studies, webinars, eln, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys
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We developed a case study last fall on Kalexsyn, a contract research organization that chose to implement an ELN from the very first day of business. As a result, many of Kalexsyn's scientists have never used a paper notebook at that company. Kalexsyn's CEO, David Zimmermann, credits the ELN with cutting the time needed to write reports and prepare patents by 25% over paper-based processes—time savings that Kalexsyn can pass onto its customers.

The video below summarizes the case study. And for more information, be sure to download the complete article.

471 Views 0 References Permalink Categories: Electronic Lab Notebook Tags: case-studies, eln, roi, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys, videos
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The ACS GCIPR meets next week in Washington, D.C., and we will be presenting at the meeting a vision for using ELNs to support green chemistry. I asked Todd Clement, our resident expert on green chemistry and ELNs, to respond to the recent entry by Michael Kopach, a member of the ACS GCIPR. We look forward to continuing the conversation with you on this timely topic. 

 

todd_clement_small.jpgRecently, an increasing number of our customers have expressed internal directives toward incorporating green chemistry principles into their development processes.  Pharmaceutical companies have introduced, via various means, green chemistry reviews that have become a standard operating procedure for taking a chemical process through the different stages of the development lifecycle.  In industry, there is wide agreement on the governing principles and philosophy of green chemistry; however, the difficulty arises in obtaining consensus on what factors deserve the most weight when one actually evaluates the greenness of a chemical process.  As an ELN vendor, we aim to enable the workflow of our customers and need to support important initiatives such as those being implemented to support the development of green processes.

 

In 2007, the ACS GCIPR endorsed process mass intensity (PMI) as one simple means to capture data on the greenness of a process.  This metric was brought to our attention by Dr. Kopach, with the support of several other customers, as a calculation that could be incorporated into an ELN since the information needed to calculate this metric was readily available in the ELN entry.  Due to the wide support PMI has received, this calculation was implemented in the Symyx ELN.

 

As Mike pointed out in his write up, the next logical question seems to be what more can be done from the data captured in the ELN? If one looks at the guiding principles of green chemistry, there are many possibilities for additional metrics to be calculated and reported as a component of an overall greenness report.  Some simple additions might be to consider the number of isolated intermediates and the number of chemical transformations in the process as a whole.  Each of these contribute some amount to the overall score, the fewer the better, obviously.  In accordance with the third principle of green chemistry (Less Hazardous Chemical Synthesis), calculations could be incorporated based on the acceptable (or unacceptable) nature of the reagents and solvents used in the process.  The question then becomes what materials are considered in these lists?  One would assume this ought to be configurable.

 

I’ll reiterate Mike’s question: Are there other metrics (besides PMI) that are important at your sites?

534 Views 1 References Permalink Categories: Electronic Lab Notebook, Trend Watch Tags: green-chemistry, eln, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys, standards
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The cover story of the May 24 issue of Chemical and Engineering News highlights cloud-based scientific computing applications. While the article focuses on software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery of LIMS (specifically our partner Thermo Fisher Scientific's debut of LIMS-on-Demand at Pittcon earlier this year), John McCarthy, vice president of product management strategy, was interviewed about Symyx's hosted ELN. I've excerpted John's portion of the article below.

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The advance of cloud computing in the laboratory is also likely to impact electronic laboratory notebooks (ELNs). Symyx, a leading supplier of notebooks, introduced a cloud-hosted version of its ELN (Symyx Notebook) in September, according to John McCarthy, vice president for product management strategy.

As with LIMS, cloud-hosted ELNs eliminate the need for on-site databanks, servers, and software. Applications are accessed from a computer hosting service called Switch Communications. According to McCarthy, one of the biggest benefits to researchers, especially in pharmaceutical and biotech companies, is the facilitation of partnerships with contract research organizations (CROs) and others. "If a company wants to work with a CRO in China or India, it doesn't need to punch a hole in the firewall," he says. "Symyx will allow partners access for the duration of the project."

Symyx is initially targeting small companies for cloud-hosted ELNs, McCarthy says. "Our first customers are small biopharma and biotech companies that want to bring in the IT ability without the burden on infrastructure." He adds that Symyx is in discussions with major drug companies as well, noting that big pharma also can benefit from the system's collaborative features as well as the cost savings.
514 Views 0 References Permalink Categories: The IT Perspective, Electronic Lab Notebook, News from Accelrys Tags: publications, eln, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys, hosted-eln
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ELN in Regulated Environments

Posted by dcurran May 25, 2010
Implementing an ELN in a regulated environment is uniquely challenging, because the paper-based workflows and processes are not just familiar, but associated with specific actions demanded by regulatory requirements. This codifies paper processes in ways that must be addressed if an ELN is going to be successfully accepted by an organization's scientists, quality teams, and compliance and legal experts.

Two Symposium presentations discussed implementing Symyx Notebook in regulated settings. We interviewed Adele Patterson of Bristol-Meyers Squibb and John Leonard of AstraZeneca about the particular roadblocks they encountered in their efforts to improve the efficiency of validated workflows for, respectively, GxP analytical R&D and GMP API manufacture. In both organizations, working with all stakeholders to gain clarity about what regulations demand and how to satisfy these demands in an electronic world led to successful implementations.

431 Views 1 References Permalink Categories: Electronic Lab Notebook Tags: case-studies, eln, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys, symposium, videos, validated-workflows
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Just 10 years ago, ELN was all about going paperless—getting rid of those paper notebooks Da Vinci used and recording research electronically. Today, though, ELN is much more, helping to foster collaboration and speed and standardize research processes. Here’s a short video that summarizes the value of ELN in the modern electronic lab. We'd love to hear what you think of it!

407 Views 0 References Permalink Categories: Electronic Lab Notebook Tags: eln, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys, videos
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Get educated on ELNs

Posted by AccelrysTeam Jan 13, 2010
During 2009, we touted Symyx Notebook's strength at connecting scientists in different disciplines across the enterprise. Three Webinars presented at the end of the year give you a chance to verify these claims yourself. Check out recordings highlighting Symyx Notebook's utility at transforming enterprise R&D, as well as specific workflows for analytical chemistry and biology.

A list of other recorded webinars can be found here covering such topics as collaborating in Isentris, getting started with DiscoveryGate, and intelligent structure editing in Symyx Draw. Holler, too, if there are other learning sessions you’d like to see offered in the coming months, and I'll pass on your thoughts to our webinar team.
457 Views 0 References Permalink Categories: Electronic Lab Notebook Tags: webinars, eln, demos, symyx-notebook-by-accelrys