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Wednesday, November 20
 

1:00pm EST

Poster Presentation: A Case Study in Implementing High Throughput Assay Plate Preparation Solution
Service Organizations within R&D face a unique challenge of having to be flexible to accommodate the varying needs of several customers requesting their services, yet agile enough to operate at a higher speed and efficiency. This is the guiding principle for Compound Management, which is a critical backbone to the functioning of several labs involved in Drug Discovery and Development. Compound Management Groups interact with many internal and external teams receiving, storing and managing of compounds of al modalities from Chemists, Biologists, CROs and Vendors and dispersing, plating and shipping of compounds to various groups such as High Throughput Screening, DMPK, External Labs.    In this presentation, we talk about our experience in implementing a High Throughput Assay Plate Preparation solution for a top 10 Bio Pharmaceutical company. The solution combined many capabilities needed for Assay Plate Preparation such as a Preordering, Ordering, Reordering, Fulfillment, Plate Map Reporting, Label Printing, Liquid Handler Integration under a unified User Experience. The solution was implemented through a combination of Robotic Systems, Informatics Solution and Business Process Changes. The primary goals of the project were to increase throughput and efficiency and reduce wastage of compounds/tips/plates.    The project was implemented in under 6 months with the ability to deliver Assay plates for High Throughput ADME assays with a Turn Around time of less than 2 days from Compound Registration to Fulfillment. The solution supports creation of 96/384/1536 well Assays plates for Single Point, Dose Response and Mixture/Cassette Assays. Over a period of 1 year, the solution was expanded to support more than 70 Discovery and Development assays run by 20 labs (internal and external) across 2 continents. Today, more than 50K compounds are requested and fulfilled through the solution.     The presentation aims to highlight the critical elements - Risks, Opportunities, Challenges, Learnings –for success as seen from the perspective of the Compound Management Group, its Customers and the Informatics Team.

Speakers
S

Sujeegar Jeevanandam

Principal Consultant, Zifo RnD Solutions
Sujeegar Jeevanandam (SJ) is a Principal Consultant with Zifo RnD Solutions.SJ has over 15 years’ experience and is leads Zifo US Consulting Services team for Life Sciences Customers. Some of his focus areas include Medicinal Chemistry, Compound & Bio-specimen Management, DMPK... Read More →


Wednesday November 20, 2019 1:00pm - 1:30pm EST
Essex North & Center (3rd Floor) - Westin Copley 10 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116 USA

1:00pm EST

Poster Presentation: Sample Management & Informatics on a Global Scale – a Small Biotech’s Approach
2018 ushered in over one hundred new biotech companies globally [1]. The hallmark of a small biotech is its ability to make quick decisions while maintaining a small footprint. In order to accomplish this, access to real-time data and access to the samples that generate the data are critical. Building groups from scratch and outfitting them with equipment takes time and is costly, thus creating a need for outsourcing R&D to a certain extent. In this global environment where companies choose to seek the services of specialized CROs optimal sample and data management become critical for success. To accomplish this fit for purpose informatics and automation that can coordinate samples and compounds into their respective assays are pivotal. This talk highlights how a small company tackles these challenges by incorporating some of the latest tools in informatics and automation while remaining nimble and cost effective.
1. 2018 Biotech Startups. West Virginia Biotech, Pharma & Medical Device Company List Available at: https://biopharmguy.com/links/company-by-name-2018.php. (Accessed: 21st February 2019)

Speakers
CJ

Chatura Jayakody

Manager, Research Operations, Accent Therapeutics


Wednesday November 20, 2019 1:00pm - 1:30pm EST
Essex North & Center (3rd Floor) - Westin Copley 10 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116 USA

1:30pm EST

Poster Presentation: Management of Non Traditional Samples and or Workflows
New modality types, such as peptides, oligonucleotides, and compound mixtures present new challenges for sample management groups. At Merck site-based Compound Submission Labs (CSLs) are the primary conduit between medicinal chemists and biologists; therefore, it is important for the CSLs to be equipped with appropriate tools and workflows for handling these new modalities. This poster will illustrate new workflows, liquid handling capabilities, and software recently implemented within the CSLs and will highlight the resulting improvement in both project workflows and cycle times.

Speakers
MB

Monica Betancur

Senior Scientist, Merck
Born in Colombia, South America. Graduated from Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia in 1992. Worked at Schering Plough from 2000-2010 and at Merck since 2010.


Wednesday November 20, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm EST
Essex North & Center (3rd Floor) - Westin Copley 10 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116 USA

1:30pm EST

Poster Presentation: The PrepCell - Leveraging Scheduling Software for Automated Sample Processing
Merck Discovery Sample Management leverages Brooks Sprint software and custom in-house software packages to enhance sample preparation workflows and improve downstream liquid handling efficiency and reliability.

With the scheduling functionality of Sprint and a custom automation platform collectively known as the "PrepCell", Discovery Sample Management automates many of the previously manual processes to prepare samples for downstream liquid handling. These processes include thawing samples from their -20C storage temperature to room temperature, centrifuging, stock volume verification, and reformatting into required well-maps.

Custom software from Brooks allows returning samples to be intercepted and redeployed prior to returning to frozen storage, increasing throughput, and eliminating unnecessary freeze-thaw cycles.

 Additionally, custom in-house software provides tools to compare tube volume verification results (from Brooks Tube Auditor device) with the recorded volume data from our Titian Mosaic Sample Management system, allowing users to identify potential pipetting errors and stock volume deviation errors before liquid handling. This process will improve the quality of plates delivered to our customers and provides remediation tool for inventory discrepancies.

Speakers
DM

Duncan McNicol

Associate Director, Merck
Duncan McNicol has been working in compound management for 24 years, with extensive experience in Storage and Liquid Handling Automation, Inventory Management systems, and developing custom software solutions to facilitate and enhance integration between these systems.


Wednesday November 20, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm EST
Essex North & Center (3rd Floor) - Westin Copley 10 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116 USA
 
Thursday, November 21
 

12:00pm EST

Poster Presentation: Evaluation of Low mg Solid Dispenses to Support Acoustic Tube Platforms
In preparation for a new workflow, Sample Management Boston identified a Tecan Fluent automation friendly tube for preparing DMSO solutions from neat stock. After evaluating the tube, it was determined that dry solid could be accurately dispensed to plastic tubes. The next part of the evaluation was to determine if small mg amounts could be dispensed to the tube accurately (between 0.15mg and 1.0 mg).
Nine AZ compounds were used in testing. They were a diverse mix of materials, ranging from powders to gums. On five place balances, each sample was dispensed 10 times to FluidX tubes. The dry dispenses were then solubilized to 10 mM and the solutions were measured by LCMS (10 mM + or – 10%) for concentration accuracy. Any solid dispense with a subsequent concentration between 9 - 11 mM was deemed accurate.

 The Achievement: The team demonstrated small amounts of solid compound can be accurately dispensed into the FluidX tube. Over 88% of all dispenses were accurate with concentrations between 9-11 mM (see table 1) The accuracy of dispenses around 0.35 mg of less was variable. Having the ability to dispense small amounts of dry sample accurately will allow AZ to conserve it’s solid compound collection.

Speakers
JA

Jeff Andrews

Sr Scientist, AstraZeneca
I've worked with the Sample Management Group at AstraZeneca since 2003. Some of my strengths within Sample Management are Customer Service and communications, Delivering on SLA’s (a focus on delivery customer requests correctly and on time) and Creative problem solving skills


Thursday November 21, 2019 12:00pm - 12:30pm EST
Essex North & Center (3rd Floor) - Westin Copley 10 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116 USA

12:00pm EST

Poster Presentation: Volumetric Quality Control for Sample Management Automated Applications Using Low Coherence Interferometry
AstraZeneca and Meniscense showcase a technology collaboration to develop a novel interferometric technology for volume quantification, the technology promises the speed and accuracy needed to support high throughput production of nanoliter dispensed outputs. We share our results demonstrating the successful measurement of nanoliter droplets dispensed into dry wells and the volume change resulting from dispensed nanoliter droplets into a filled well. We discuss how this methodology will enhance the quality control process of a sample management or screening operation.

Speakers
LB

Lindsey Bonicki

Astrazeneca


Thursday November 21, 2019 12:00pm - 12:30pm EST
Essex North & Center (3rd Floor) - Westin Copley 10 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116 USA

12:30pm EST

Poster Presentation: Evaluation of FluidX External Thread Tubes for Potential Leachable Compounds
Plastic storage tubes are used in laboratories worldwide to store biological and chemical samples. As most plastics are supplied sterile, pyrogen- and DNAse/RNAse-free, it is generally accepted that this guarantees product integrity. Few researchers ever consider that despite these apparent guarantees, plastic ware can still provide a potential source of error. Evidence shows that bioactive compounds can diffuse into solutions that come into contact with the surface of the plastic 1,2. These compounds, typically referred to as “leachables” or “extractables”, are used during the manufacturing process to improve product stability and durability. However, these compounds can have a significant impact on scientific experiments and pose a likely source of error in many assay systems. Examples of leachable interference include inhibition of enzyme activity and falsification of nucleic acid quantification. The aim of this evaluation was to determine if “extractables” could be detected in solvent solutions stored in FluidX external thread tubes and to compare the performance against competitor tubes.

Speakers
ES

Evelyn Stevenson

Senior Product Manager, Brooks Life Sciences


Thursday November 21, 2019 12:30pm - 1:00pm EST
Essex North & Center (3rd Floor) - Westin Copley 10 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116 USA

12:30pm EST

Poster Presentation: Optimizing off-site cell line repository curation: Building a Partnership With Sample Storage Experts to Store, Curate and Maintain an Entire Research Site’s Cell Bank
World-wide, individual cell lines are estimated in the thousands with over 3,400 continuous cell lines available from one repository alone (American Type Culture Collection, ATCC). Large research organizations purchase and accumulate cell lines from ATCC and other world-wide repositories, collaborations, in-house engineering efforts and commercial vendors. As an organization’s cell line inventory grows, so do the challenges of maintaining a quality on-site repository for cell-based scientific research. Primary issues include registration database tools, growing and preparing vials, sample sterility, cell line integrity, ability to find a cell line and easy retrieval. However as modern research companies leverage their best cell culture expertise into basic research and pipeline advancement, few company culturists are available to perform the duties necessary to maintain on-site cell bank repositories. The Research Laboratories of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA (MRL) Boston site was no exception and by 2016 faced multiple on-site repository challenges including an ageing database, cell line search errors, vial distribution, registration and cell line data, low stock identification, stock replenishment, disaster protection, and cell stock quality.  To support the MRL Boston Scientists, an entirely new model was set in place. The new model was built on two pillars: IT support to a new cell line registration database and a qualified, GxP level storage partner with cell banking capabilities. The first step was migration of the old database to a newer database that could engage with the database of Merck’s preferred long-term sample storage partner, Brooks Life Science’s. The newer Merck database, AcBioREG, supported unique sample IDs, thus allowing a “pushable and searchable” identifier between systems, linking the MRL’s AcBioREG cell line registration to physical vials at Brooks Life Sciences. Concurrently, MRL Boston piloted the possibility of using Brook’s BioProcessing Solutions group at RUCDR in NJ to replenish the Boston cell line stocks. Once the pilot cell line replenishment proved successful and database migrations finalized, MRL Boston shipped its on-site 19,000+ vial inventory to Brooks Life Sciences.  Additional IT infrastructure and standardized workflows were defined, permitting MRL Boston scientists cell line search, ordering, and receipt of a cell line vial in 1-2 business days. Brooks Life Sciences coordinates with one half time MRL Boston point of contact, creating a combined repository curation effort complete with low vial notifications, cell banking queue requests, active cell banking, quality testing, and stock redundancy in both Brooks facilities. Presented here, this new model illustrates how research sites or organizations can successfully shift the bulk of repository maintenance from internal scientific staff to an external partner all while ensuring cell line access, sustained inventory, bank quality, and cycle-time expectations.

Speakers
CA

Carla Alpert

Merck & Co. Inc
Carla R. Alpert is a cell biologist with 25+ years in the cell culture suite. She still remembers the first cell line she handled, the enigmatic and adorable mouse line Neuro-2a. Since those days, Carla's grown hundreds of human and mammalian cell lines and within her department is... Read More →


Thursday November 21, 2019 12:30pm - 1:00pm EST
Essex North & Center (3rd Floor) - Westin Copley 10 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02116 USA