Enabling Lab Insights Through Data Mobility

Scitara Briefing Note

Axendia was recently briefed by Jeff Mazzeo, Chief Marketing Officer at Scitara Corporation, as an update to our previous briefing in early 2023. Scitara, founded in 2019 by serial entrepreneur, Ajit Nagral, CEO & Chairman, and Geoff Gerhardt, CTO, is a self-proclaimed “young company of industry veterans” who have lived and breathed the challenges of managing laboratory data. Since its inception, the company has been gaining traction in the life sciences space, with installations in biopharma QC and R&D by providing a vendor-agnostic, Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) for ScienceTM solution which automates data mobility between new and legacy instruments, applications and web services.

Integration Platform as a Service for Science

Scitara is solving the challenge of integrating life science laboratory endpoints and automating the multidirectional flow of data and its liberation for ingestion by relevant data repositories and data lakes. Eliminating manual transcription, manual data management and coincident errors saves significant time and money and enables the transfer of high-quality, context-rich results data into AI/ML models for deeper understanding.

 Scitara Digital Lab Exchange (DLXTM) is a vendor-agnostic, Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) for Science, which allows process industries to integrate new and legacy instruments, applications and web services. This mobility and real-time data exchange can facilitate accelerated time to market, a business driver that is consistently top of mind in the life sciences industry.

Image Source: Scitara

“Scitara is now in eight of the top 25 global pharmaceutical companies as an integration and data mobility platform partner, and these deployments are on a solid growth trajectory across global sites,” states Jeff Mazzeo. Scitara’s focus is firmly centered on enabling data mobility as a foundational integration layer, and their strategy is to remain vendor agnostic and refrain from competing with other players in the ecosystem. This makes Scitara especially attractive to instrument and informatics vendors looking to partner for the longer-term for the benefit of their mutual customers. Accordingly, the Scitara partner network continues to grow.

Connect, Automate and Monitor

What does this all mean from a practical perspective? A simple example that Jeff Mazzeo provided was the exchange that can take place between a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and enterprise instrumentation in the lab, such as an LC connected to a Chromatography Data System (CDS) like Empower. According to Jeff, “A sample list can be created in the LIMS, and with Scitara DLX in place, a press of a button within the LIMS sends it to the CDS.” He described the process in more detail, stating, “The connector converts that sample file to JSON, an intermediate data format, transfers it to the CDS, which translates it to the CDS’s native language, and then the samples are run using the designated method. The results are then sent back to the LIMS and/or to data repositories for further analysis, reinforcing the bidirectional capabilities of DLX.”

Image Source: Scitara

Industry Standardization

The industry continues to grapple with a lack of harmonized standards and file formats, which to some degree has served as a hindrance and an excuse that has slowed progress towards digital transformation. Scitara agrees but looks at this differently. “We don’t force the customer to rely on a standard,” says Jeff. “We understand there are standards out there; we will support them, but we are not reliant upon them because it tends to limit the lab’s ability to both ingest and send information like in the example of LIMS, sample lists and lab instrumentation. That would undermine the capabilities of Scitara DLX.” In effect, Scitara is addressing the reality that labs have their legacy ecosystems. By meeting their clients where they are, companies can move forward with their digital initiatives more quickly and without having to compromise. With an open systems architecture, it is also possible to custom build the orchestrations necessary for unique workflows, with code written by either Scitara or by their clients.

Case Study: Streamlining Workflows in R&D

Generic pharmaceutical companies are charged with delivering medicines that are available at affordable price points to the consumer, and thus typically realize very low margins for their products. This dynamic has plagued the industry and has made it incredibly challenging for generics manufacturers to stay afloat. Many companies have been forced out of business altogether, especially in the US. One of Scitara’s generic pharmaceutical customers was seeking ways to improve efficiencies through digitally transforming processes in its R&D lab and capitalizing on technology that enabled information sharing. According to Jeff, “Their objectives were to remove manual steps in their biosimilar workflow, to enable self-service analytics and to shorten the ten-day lag time from instrument run to decision-making. The initial process spanned 2,795 hours from start to finish, including run-time, data analytics and visualization. 560 hours of that time (or 20%) was due to rework.”

Source: Scitara

Scitara DLX was used to automate the exchange of data from the nine instruments and the company’s internal data lake. The Windows File Connector enabled the exchange between Scitara DLX and the instruments, while the data lake was connected to Scitara DLX via the Web Services Connector. Once the instrument result files were moved to a designated file share, a Scitara Orchestration automatically captured and parsed the data files and subsequently uploaded the desired results to the data lake.

With Scitara DLX in place, Jeff states, “Time to results was reduced from 2,795 hours to 392 hours, a time savings of 86%. Manual steps and associated rework were eliminated, the objectives for self-service analytics and access to datasets were achieved, and scientific staff was freed up to do more value-added work.”

Source: Scitara

    In Brief

    The Scitara DLX platform is designed to enable data mobility which can manifest as increased efficiencies and savings in time and resources. By eliminating manual steps and transcriptions, companies can both decrease risk of error and improve productivity. Because Scitara’s leadership team is comprised of industry veterans, DLX was developed to meet requirements for compliance and data integrity from its inception. Scitara’s customer base is expanding, as is its list of technology and service partners, making DLX well-positioned for continued adoption to support digital transformation in the lab.

    We will continue to provide updates on Scitara as they become available.

    To discuss how this initiative impacts your organization, schedule an inquiry with Axendia HERE.

    The opinions and analysis expressed in this post reflect the judgment of Axendia at the time of publication and are subject to change without notice. Information contained in this post is current as of publication date. Information cited is not warranted by Axendia but has been obtained through a valid research methodology. This post is not intended to endorse any company or product and should not be attributed as such.

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