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Electronic lab notebook for vaccine trials
March 2009
by Amy Swinderman  |  Email the author
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FONTENAY-AUX-ROSES, France—The Immunovirology Division of the French Atomic Energy Agency (Commissariat à l'Ènergie Atomique, CEA) has partnered with integrated data management software provider IDBS to help manage the increasing amount of data the agency collects during the immono-monitoring of vaccine trials.

The CEA has selected IDBS' BioBook, an electronic lab notebook that allows scientists to manage the entire lifecycle of complex biological experiments and studies in a single secure environment, to capture, collate, analyze and share experimental data across its multi-user immunovirology research projects. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Twenty scientists in the CEA's laboratory unit will use BioBook, which is already being used by another division at CEA, CEA MIRCen, to perform complex biology assays and workflows in central nervous system disorders. BioBook helps to list and categorize all in vivo experiments and manage and analyze data related to both animals and multiple projects, along with experimental context such as the state of the animals, biological and serological data, cellular immune responses induced after vaccination or infection and viral loads after infection. This contextual information and the associated numerical data and results are all indexed into a secured database that is both trackable and searchable.

According to Roger Le Grand, project manager for the CEA, the agency found the ability to search and query the BioBook database particularly attractive, as well as BioBook's ability to rapidly create and distribute customized reports on demand and make them available to all end users. The CEA didn't find any other products that met all of its data capturing and gathering requirements and enabled data to be shared across disciplines and projects, Le Grand says.

"After contacting several possible providers, we came to the conclusion that IDBS was the one with the closest systems to our 'cahier des charges,'" Le Grand says. "We hope that BioBook will improve the storage of data and the way we trace its collection, collaborative work between internal teams and also with external partners."

Without BioBook, analyzing data and results across projects and scientific disciplined would have cost the researchers weeks, if not months, of preparation work to achieve, says Neil Kipling, founder and CEO of IDBS.

"Beyond these tangible criteria, the IDBS team demonstrated its ability to listen, understand, design, deliver and support the relevant solution used by CEA scientists and IT—a low-risk, high-value approach completely aligned with CEA's constraints and timelines," Kipling says. "These are the factors that CEA management highly appreciated—not only the high-quality software delivered from IDBS, but also the support of its high-quality individuals. Confidence and mutual trust were the real drivers."

The parties may extend the collaboration to create specifically adapted databases for immuno-monitoring in preclinical and clinical research, LeGrand says.

"We are really interested to have common developments with IDBS, in particular for developing new data bases for our new platforms like flow cytometry," he says. "In addition, we are also discussion with partners external to CEA on the use of this tool to share and exchange data. We also hope to validate BioBook as a tool recognized by regulatory agencies."

Kipling adds that there is also a possibility of expanding the partnership inside the CEA and with external third-party organizations that are working with the agency.

"The Paris region is similar to a small community where information circulates rapidly and people and organizations are interconnected," Kipling says. "The current project where BioBook represents the framework solution supporting complex immunovirology workflows at CEA is in fact part of a much larger research program on HIV at a national and European level. It involves many other organizations in France: Institut Pasteur in Paris and CNRS in Lyon are two examples of these."
 
Code: E030912

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