Bio-IT World Names 2016 Best Practices Winners

April 6, 2016

By Bio-IT World Staff

April 6, 2016 | BOSTON—Bio-IT World announced the winners of the 2016 Best Practices Awards this morning at the Bio-IT World Conference and Expo. Entries from AstraZeneca, DNAnexus, Amgen, Human Longevity, and XOMA were honored.

Since 2003, the Bio-IT World Best Practices Awards has honored excellence in bioinformatics, basic and clinical research, and IT frameworks for biology and drug discovery. Winners were chosen in five categories this year from seventeen finalists named in mid-March.

“Fourteen years after our first Best Practices competition, I continue to be inspired by the work done in our field,” said Bio-IT World Editor Allison Proffitt. “The Bio-IT World Community is increasingly open, and the partnerships and projects showcased here prove our dedication to collaborative excellence.”

Bio-IT World debuted the Best Practices Awards at the second Bio-IT World Conference & Expo, hoping to not only elevate the critical role of information technology in modern biomedical research, but also to highlight platforms and strategies that could be widely shared across the industry to improve the quality, pace, and reach of science. In the years since, hundreds of projects have been entered in the annual competition, and over 80 prizes have been given out to the most outstanding entries.

This year, a panel of ten invited expert judges joined the Bio-IT World editors in reviewing detailed submissions from pharmaceutical companies, academic centers, government agencies, and technology providers.

The awards ceremony was held at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, where the winning teams received their prizes from Proffitt, veteran judge Jerry Schindler, Vice President, Late-Stage Clinical Development Statistics at Merck & Co., and Philips Kuhl, president of conference organizer Cambridge Healthtech Institute.

2016 Bio-IT World Best Practices Award Winners:

Clinical IT & Precision Medicine: Amgen

Real World Data Platform and Analytics

The Real World Data (RWD) Platform is a game changer in Amgen’s pursuit of serving patients by delivering innovative human therapeutic products faster. It provides a common high performance analytics ecosystem hosting large volumes of real world patient claims data and electronic medical records, enabling epidemiologists, analysts and scientists to deliver insights in a timely and cost effective manner. We used Agile approach to implement a Hadoop based Enterprise Data Lake(EDL) to compute large disparate data sets and harmonized real world patient data assets, patient cohorts with diseases and/or receiving Amgen/competitor therapies to consistently address questions across the drug commercialization lifecycle. The impact includes:

  • Speed to Patient Impact –Timely and accurate identification of patient populations to inform clinical study design/forecast, resulting in bringing new medicines to patients faster
  • Patient Safety and Value Impact – Efficient and scientifically rigorous comparative safety/effectiveness analyses to timely inform the risk/benefit of Amgen’s medicines

Informatics: FDA & DNAnexus

FDA advancing precision medicine with precisionFDA: a collaborative informatics community to explore regulatory science

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plays an integral role in President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, which foresees the day when an individual’s medical care will be tailored in part based on their unique characteristics and genetic make-up. To accelerate progress towards this vision, FDA’s Chief Health Informatics Officer, Taha Kass-Hout, M.D., began investigating the concept of a research and development portal that would allow community members to test, pilot, share, and validate existing and new bioinformatics approaches for processing the vast amount of genomic data that is collected using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology.  After conducting market research, collaborating with FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, awarding the R&D contract to DNAnexus to build precisionFDA, and assembling a project team, precisionFDA was initiated on July 22, 2015 and launched in beta on December 15, 2015.

Knowledge Management: AstraZeneca

CI360 (Competitive Intelligence 360)

CI360 is a Competitive Intelligence framework developed by Research & Development Information (RDI) within AstraZeneca.  It includes a data integration framework, Drug and Trial landscape view and communities SharePoint Online site.  It is built using a hybrid of big data/linked data technologies to maximize scalability and data heterogeneity, supporting a plethora of key CI business questions.

Judges Prize: Human Longevity

HLI Knowledgebase & Health Nucleus

Human Longevity Inc. (HLI) has built a cloud based multifaceted genomic and phenotype knowledge management and application ecosystem that includes the HLI Knowledgebase, the HLI Health Nucleus client and clinician portals and the Health Nucleus Integrated Avatar Application. The HLI Knowledgebase currently includes over 10000 integrated health records and the infrastructure to store, query and visualize genomic, metabolomic, microbiome and high quality phenotype data in scientifically meaningful ways. As a key source to the Knowledgebase, the Health Nucleus suite of modalities and applications provide the broadest set of phenotype and medical data available, while the Integrated Avatar application puts the client in the center of their integrated genomic and phenotype results in a novel and engaging way new to the health exploration market. Together, these applications represent a state of the art technology continuum supporting the comprehensive assembly and utility of the deepest and broadest genomics and phenotypic knowledge management solution available.

Editors’ Choice Award: XOMA

XAbTracker & SeqAgent: Integrated LIMS and sequence analysis tools for Antibody Phage Display

We present SeqAgent and XAbTacker, an integrated DNA sequence analysis package specifically designed for use with antibody V-regions (Fv) obtained from antibody phage display experiments together with a data management system that will track clones from discovery, through assays and sequence identification until final clone selections are made. SeqAgent is a semi-automated pipeline that takes DNA input files, converts to protein, identifies structural features and produces alignments that are highly annotated and ready for final analysis. XAbTracker provides flexible workflow and data management for antibody discovery and is integrated with SeqAgent. These platforms were developed in-house utilizing current best practices for web application and open-source technologies leading to an extremely low cost, robust, and flexible web-based research management system. Development of these systems has drastically shortened the time required for data analysis and management as well as increased the throughput of our drug discovery efforts.