Cyprotex analysed over 3 million samples in over 1975 different assay protocols last year. This is an impressive achievement with a team of less than 50 scientists, especially when many of these assays are on a 5 to 10 day turnaround time. So how do we achieve this level of throughput within such short turnaround times?
John Cartmell DPhil, Head of Information Systems at Cyprotex explains,
‘LabsysTM, our internally built LIMS, is the answer. Our team of software engineers have been developing the system over the past 15 years. By talking to and understanding the needs of the scientists both internally and externally, we built a highly functional, integrated system which manages all aspects of sample tracking, laboratory automation, results generation, and more. Utilising this system is key to maximising the benefits of high throughput technology, and as well as increasing the speed of screening, it provides reassurance that the automation and data are being effectively controlled.
Because the system has been built internally specifically for our needs, it gives us great flexibility, allowing efficiency to be maximised and ensuring rapid turnaround. Automation goes hand in hand with quality and our systems put quality at the forefront, with SOPs in place, strict QC procedures, audit trails and data locking processes. The use of highly automated systems, managed by a strict maintenance schedule and quality procedures, ensures the data generated is highly reproducible and the possibility of error is minimised.
Our goal from the onset has been to focus on developing highly efficient systems which are based on quality protocols accepted by the industry. By integrating high capacity robots and analytical technologies with a sophisticated information management system, we have achieved this goal.’
Duplicating this capacity in our Watertown facility first provides more direct access to US-based clients, but also provides a level of security. If for some reason the rapid screening ADME lab in one location is forced to undergo downtime, assays and protocols can be easily and quickly transferred to the unaffected laboratory.
In short, an efficient workflow is critical to achieving consistent rapid turnaround time within a CRO environment. The implementation of a carefully designed LIMS is critical to support the scientists and meet the demands of customers for fast, flexible, high quality assays.