Review: 11th Annual ELNs and Advanced Laboratory Solutions Conference
Gerhard Noelken (Pfizer), Frank Klöck (Bayer), Mohit Agnihotri (Novartis), Pascal Maes (Johnson & Johnson), Julie Spry and Charles Demarest (Pfizer), Ralph Haffner (Roche), Daniel Domine (Merck) and Edward Reilly (Baxter), were just some of the stellar speakers line-up.
From these presentations it seems there is a need to standardize laboratory data systems, especially since big Pharma is outsourcing many activities that were previously performed internally. This fragmentation of the life science information landscape has required additional effort to be expended to ensure that data is consistent across systems (which still requires improvement).
Cat Andersen (Array BioPharma), Ruud van der Pol (DSM), Sheraz Gul (European ScreeningPort), Carla Marchioro (Aptuit), Simon Coles (Amphora Research Systems), Michael Engelmann (CSL Behring), Agnes Huot (Biogen Idec) and Henry Hallam (Lonza and the University of Southampton) presented in this area.
The companies giving presentations varied considerably. In the case of the larger Biotech companies the complexity of their internal process were shown to be comparable to big Pharma with IT projects taking 2-3 year projects to improve internal processes. The presentations from the CRO’s highlighted the breadth of their customers and that it can be difficult and expensive to ensure their processes and fully aligned with their external customers.
Jeremy Frey (University of Southampton), Cecilia Björkdahl (Karolinska Institute) and Lawrence Percival-Alwyn (The Genome Analysis Centre) gave presentations that covered various aspects of IT such as nomenclature and novel methods to capture data.
John Trigg (phaseFour Informatics), Peter Boogaard (Industrial Lab Automation), Mike Elliott (Atrium Research), Bernhard Schirm (Quattro Research) delivered particularly revealing presentations that shed light on current IT trends.
The presenters lookedat how the lines between ELNs and LIMs are becoming blurred, the increasing trend of externalizing R&D despite a relatively small percentage of organisations having an externalisation strategy in place and cloud computing. No doubt these topics will continue to have a high profile in the future of IT conferences.
Taken together, this meeting presented research at the forefront of IT solutions including ELNs and LIMs with speakers from broad backgrounds. It was an excellent forum for the exchange of ideasamong researchers covering both academia and industrial efforts in the field of drug discovery.