Dr. Amy Liao, President
Sample management and logistics have become increasingly intricate over the last few years. While the COVID pandemic has shined a spotlight on the complex logistics associated with the movement of vaccine, the life science and healthcare community was equally challenged with tracking millions of samples used to test for COVID both for individual diagnostics and for clinical trials.
Needless to say, the novel coronavirus has added pressure on pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies and CROs to test their investigational drugs or vaccines on large sample groups and seamlessly furnish the result in a comprehensive manner to the regulatory authorities. To make that happen smoothly, all necessary data about the sample needs to be collected right from the beginning in order to correctly ascertain the efficacies and risk profile of a particular treatment option.
However, such flawless clinical trial sample management is easier said than done. Why? The ongoing push toward clinical trial outsourcing requires pharma companies to manage sample logistics across a network of lab suppliers. For this, pharma companies and CROs need to maintain a documented chain of custody that offers complete traceability of each sample vial. And yet, many laboratories work with spreadsheets and manually track the samples. These conventional processes and poorly organized biosample logistics ultimately lead to misplaced or mixed up samples and data. What pharma companies and laboratories now need is more novel digital innovation related to their sample management approach. This will ensure proper automation of their daily tasks and reduce human error.
Enter Limfinity® from Brooks Life Sciences
Brooks Life Sciences is creating a world of difference in the clinical trial landscape with a comprehensive sample management software solution that covers every step from sample collection through to its disposal. “From software and informatics to the physical management of samples, Brooks Life Sciences helps its clients optimize their sample handling processes and be more efficient in resource utilization,” underscores Clay Angelly who is the director of informatics at Brooks Life Sciences.
One Platform Many Solutions
is a secure and compliant cloud based sample data management software solution that provides a comprehensive framework for flexible enterprise applications with powerful built-in features. These features include a form builder, robust workflow engine, role-based security, fully compliant audit trails, freezer utilization, box/ plate mapping, and much more.
Instead of building each sample management solution from scratch, users can rapidly incorporate their desired features and capabilities via the Limfinity built-in feature sets to create exactly what they need through configuration.
“And owing to the extreme flexibility of the Limfinity platform, we can always align a new application with any laboratory, scientific, or pharmaceutical organization’s specific needs without disrupting their existing operational processes,” asserts Angelly. The users can further benefit from the robust workflow engine of Limfinity. The engine provides the users with a stepwise and modifiable workflow of their clinical trial processes.
Brooks Life Sciences Is Creating A World Of Difference In The Clinical Trial Landscape With A Comprehensive Sample Management Software Solution That Covers Every Step From Sample Collection Through To Its Disposal
Alongside these, the Limfinity cloud platform also supports integration with over 200 leading lab instrument manufacturers through APIs and SDKs. Thus, clients can add storage, study, inventory, and patient management functionalities on top of the primary software framework. Moreover, clients can build or upgrade their own applications as they scale. “We have a number of customers that are able to expand their usage of tools and features from the Limfinity platform and develop more sophisticated applications over time independent of Brooks if desired,” Angelly adds further.
There are several pre-defined Limfinity configurations that can even more quickly power laboratories with secure software for sample tracking. These configurations, called LimitLIS (Laboratory Information System) allow public and private organizations to quickly establish testing capabilities around the globe. LimitLIS is currently being used by the United States military for COVID-19 testing of troops; in stadiums around the U.S. for drive-up COVID-19 testing; in walkup kiosks; in pop-up testing sites and in toxicology, urology, and molecular labs across the country to add COVID molecular, antibody and antigen testing capabilities.
LimitLIS offers quick set-up that enables labs to easily switch from pre COVID-19 testing modalities to pandemic level testing mode. The solution deploys instantly in the cloud; integrates with COVID-19 instruments and mobile apps, electronic health records, facility and physician portals, and various APIs. LimitLIS utilizes a unique COVID-19 workflow that incorporates custom patient, requisition and test importers. It also allows for creative testing strategies and distributes COVID-19 test results and reports to the patient, physicians and governmental health departments.
Putting It to the Test; Right When It Matters the Most
A client approached Brooks Life Sciences with the need for processing and testing 100,000 patient samples a day during the COVID-19 pandemic at 4 different sites, each of which required configuration for its specific testing platform and supplies. Brooks Life Sciences responded quickly and chalked out all the data requisites of the client.
Upon zeroing down on the particular information the client needed, the company configured the Limfinity platform to track that data throughout the sample lifecycle and set up multiple sites in two weeks. Each site was designed to perform a series of tasks that started with the license plating of the sample on arrival. Then, the sample would go through multiple conditions such as neutralization, RNA extraction and amplification, and fluorescent tagging before the final report was generated. Brooks Life Sciences employed robotic liquid handlers and used the Limfinity platform to automate almost 98 percent of these tasks. The client simply needed to log into Limfinity and procure testing reports for a thorough analysis within four hours of sample arrival. The client also used the reports to furnish the testing documents to the government. “Amazing to most, this was done within eight weeks, and this helped our client conduct COVID-19 tests seamlessly,” comments Angelly.
“Fast deployment of laboratories and testing centers has never been more important than it is right now. Our cloud-based software enables labs, testing sites, and bio-repositories of all sizes to quickly ramp up automated workflows to support sample management including PCR and antibody testing,” says Dr. Amy Liao, president of Brooks Life Sciences Services. Not only was the laboratory and software created and deployed quickly, but it was also able to scale. As the severity of the pandemic increased, the 4 testing sites scaled their processing to their desired need for 250,000 patient tests per day. The Limfinity solution was paramount in making this possible.
An End-to-End Sample Management Partner
“From sample management to data handling, Brooks brings to the table every sample management capability that our customers need,” says Richard Peck, an applications specialistat Brooks Life Sciences. Brooks Life Sciences possesses an unparalleled knowledge of 1D and 2D-coded sample storage tubes and sample management systems. This places Brooks Life Sciences at the forefront of developing sample storage consumables and instruments for biobanking, automated robotic storage across all temperature ranges (including LN2), compound management, consumer genomics, synthetic biology, primary research, and more.
Together with that, Brooks Life Sciences also offers managed sample preparation, storage, and transportation services from the early stages of the trial through to its final approval stage.
Staying at the Forefront of Innovation
Angelly and Peck share that the reason behind Brooks’ success is its unwavering focus on the life sciences sector. Brooks Life Sciences directs all its resources to stay relevant and hyper-focused in this particular industry. A testament to this commitment is its strategic investments that the company has made to compliment organic growth playing a critical role in enhancing the capabilities of Brooks Life Sciences. “Our unique portfolio of services enables focused innovation for our customers that is unmatched in the life sciences industry,” adds Angelly.
Toward a Safer Tomorrow
Limfinity is designed to match any company’s unique fingerprint. It requires no modifications to current operational processes and grow as our client’s needs evolve and innovate. Brooks firmly believes that there is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to a software solution.