Benchling: Accelerating life sciences R&D with an intelligent cloud-based software...

Pharma Tech Outlook: Pharma Tech Magazine

Benchling: Accelerating life sciences R&D with an intelligent cloud-based software platform

Jon Fan, VP of Product, BenchlingJon Fan, VP of Product
Advances in biotechnology are transforming almost every aspect of our lives — from the medicines we use to treat disease, to the sustainable foods, fuels, and materials we use every day. The scientific techniques and R&D operations needed to bring these innovations to market are constantly evolving and growing in complexity, which means the complexity, scale, and speed at which R&D data are generated are growing exponentially.

A best-in-class laboratory information management system (LIMS) should address these needs by providing tools that capture, centralize, and integrate all types of structured and unstructured data. However, most existing LIMS options are rigid and do not offer the flexibility necessary to meet the needs of customers in this complex and fast-moving space. Furthermore, there is a need to automate data entry to reduce bottlenecks, drive operational efficiencies, and keep up with pace of life science R&D.

To this end, Benchling provides a cloud-based informatics solution that enables scientists to accelerate the speed of their research and development. The Life Sciences R&D Cloud is a unified suite of applications to design, run, and analyze experiments that captures the end-to-end traceability required in the biotechnology industry.

Built with the end user in mind, the Benchling platform can be configured without code, which gives the benefit of a custom solution without extensive vendor involvement. This ensures that the platform can continually adapt to changing R&D processes. Benchling also enables customers to seamlessly integrate 3rd party instruments, software, and databases through its industryleading APIs. “Our platform includes solutions for experiment recordkeeping, sequence design and manipulation, sample tracking, process management, lab automation, and data analysis,” says Ashu Singhal, Co-founder of Benchling. “We have a single unified web application that helps to tie together all these different capabilities under one roof and provide a better experience for scientists, managers, and executives,” adds Jon Fan, VP of Product of Benchling.

Singhal shared that the pain felt around moving large volumes of data between liquid handlers and legacy software solutions led the company to add lab automation capabilities to their platform. The application, Benchling for Lab Automation, allows scientists to create and send run instructions to instruments within the Benchling platform, and then ingest the results in a structured manner back into Benchling. Not only does this allow for an increase in experimental scale and scientist productivity, but it also improves data integrity and enables access to data-driven insights that were not previously available.
Ashu Singhal, Co-founder
For instance, automating this workflow has been a crucial part of Benchling’s efforts to support widespread COVID-19 testing and has allowed labs to rapidly scale up the number of samples they can process in a structured, efficient manner.

Above all, Benchling believes in delivering results. The company’s customer experience team works closely with clients to understand their specific R&D use cases and then leverages deep domain expertise in science, data modeling, and software to ensure that each Benchling implementation is mapped to each client’s R&D process and business needs. As an example, Benchling helped current customer, Rubius Therapeutics, to centralize and standardize all of their R&D data on the platform. Rubius genetically engineers red blood cell therapeutics, or RCTs, to treat a range of diseases. Previously, the R&D teams struggled with cross-team collaboration and project management because they relied on a collection of outdated, legacy tools and manual processes. Benchling’s team rolled out a solution for them comprising the full Benchling platform. The Notebook, Molecular Biology, and Registry applications enable Rubius not only to track their experiments, but also to make crucial, data-driven decisions based on the complete experimental context of the samples, vectors, and red blood cells that they produce. In addition, the Requests, Workflows, and Insights applications empower Rubius to streamline, optimize, and forecast their research pipeline in real time. Taken together, this platform-first approach has expedited Rubius’s project progress and accelerated R&D timelines.

By standardizing and centralizing all R&D data on one flexible, cloud-based platform, we are accelerating the pace of life science and enabling better and faster decision-making. We’re building solutions that are intuitive, collaborative, and aligned with the digital strategies that forward-looking companies are pursuing.

Benchling has market-leading customer retention metrics, which Fan attributes to several factors. “From day one, our platform was built with scientists in mind. It’s very intuitive to use, it’s very powerful, and our customer experience team goes to great lengths to ensure our clients are successful,” he says. The company is continuously adding new features and products to its portfolio, with near term plans to provide solutions for organizations focused on small molecules, RNA, and peptides. “We’re always looking towards the future to understand what our customers will need as they continue to innovate at the cutting edge of life science R&D. To be able to anticipate and understand where the industry is going - that’s the exciting part,” concludes Singhal.

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Jon Fan, VP of Product and Ashu Singhal, Co-founder

Benchling is the first R&D cloud platform powering the life science industry and helping the next generation of scientists make breakthrough discoveries faster than ever before. Replacing outdated pen and paper processes, Benchling offers unified R&D solutions purpose-built for biotech, including Notebook, Molecular Biology, Registry, Inventory, Request & Workflow Management, and Insights. Benchling is used globally across the largest multinational pharmaceutical corporations, emerging biotechnology companies, and major research institutions. Benchling makes life science research faster and more collaborative by offering a unified platform and tools for bench scientists and researchers to manage their research data