Bio-IT World Announces Inaugural Innovative Practices Awards Winners

April 18, 2019

April 18, 2019 | BOSTON—Bio-IT World has announced the winners of the 2019 Innovative Practices Awards. The winners were announced live at the Bio-IT World Conference & Expo. Entries from Abbvie, Novo Nordisk, and Sentieon were honored.

Since 2003, Bio-IT World has hosted an elite awards program, highlighting outstanding examples of how technology innovations and strategic initiatives can be powerful forces for change in the life sciences, from basic biomedical research to drug development and beyond. This year we rechristened the awards the Innovative Practices Awards, recognizing partnerships and projects pushing our industry forward.

"These awards celebrate the dedication and innovation in the life sciences, and the winners chosen highlight the inspiring work being done in our industry," said Allison Proffitt, Editorial Director of Bio-IT World. "The Bio-IT World Community is increasingly open, and the partnerships and projects showcased in this year's award program prove our dedication to collaborative excellence."

This year, a panel of 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 and Philips Kuhl, president of conference organizer Cambridge Healthtech Institute.

2019 Bio-IT World Innovative Practices Awards

Winning Entries:

Abbvie nominated by Discngine

3decision – next generation structural knowledge management solution

Although wildly used, rational structure-based drug design (SBDD) techniques are far from being applied to their fullest potential. The major hurdles lie in the inconsistent data persistence and the complexity of analyzing structural data. Moreover, the structural data is often analyzed by domain experts only and their knowledge and experience are not well shared and exposed to other communities. Abbvie has addressed these pitfalls by co-developing a web-based structural knowledge management solution called 3decision. It allows Abbvie to transform a massive amount of data coming from in-house and public 3D structures and sequences, into applicable knowledge for drug discovery projects. The collaborative aspects within SBDD projects are in focus and the user interface allows all types of users to easily generate, test and connect their ideas with each other. The development of 3decision allowed Abbvie to dramatically increases the ROI of SBDD work and protein structure production.

Novo Nordisk nominated by Linguamatics

Integrating NLP to generate actionable insights from real world data

Novo Nordisk wanted to extract more value from the real-world data (RWD) being collected about the use of its products, so that commercial teams could better understand what patients and healthcare professionals were saying, and take appropriate action. Novo Nordisk used Linguamatics I2E to analyze three key RWD sources and extract well-structured data. The resulting information was then presented to the business users via Tableau-based self-serve dashboards, for exploration and insight generation. In addition, Novo Nordisk migrated I2E and Tableau to its AWS cloud-based global big data and analytics platform. This now provides business users and product teams with enhanced access to real world data around Novo Nordisk products for better derivation of actionable insights. With the new system, Novo Nordisk have reduced manual work by FTEs, reduced vendor spend, automated the process of generating insights, and significantly broadened access to these insights across a global team.


Sentieon DNAseq and TNseq software tools for NGS data processing-BWA/GATK drop-in- replacements

To aid the genomics industry without adding "yet another variant caller," Sentieon identified BWA/GATK as high-quality tools because of the rigor of their mathematical models and resulting accuracy. Sentieon has improved on this foundation using redesigned computational algorithms with high efficiency, better usability, and 100% consistency. Sentieon’s software package realizes the same math as in BWA-MEM, GATK, MuTect, MuTect2 based pipelines, while using 3-10x fewer core hours, lower memory requirements, and achieving 100% consistency by removing downsampling and thread dependency. Sentieon software automatically scales to efficiently use all available CPU cores. Further, improved computational algorithms enable Sentieon software to joint-call large cohorts of tens of thousands of genomes without intermediate steps. As a result of these improvements, the Sentieon tools have been used to win PrecisionFDA Consistency Challenge and Truth Challenge awards and are currently used by customers around the world.

Honorable Mention:

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and the RGC UK Biobank Consortium nominated by DNAnexus

The RGC UK Biobank Consortium Data Delivery and Cohort Browser

The UK Biobank (UKB) has collected and developed a biospecimen and data resource on over 500,000 individuals. The resource is of strategic importance to pharmaceutical companies, as it serves to understand how different factors influence disease. In collaboration with a consortium of pharma companies, The Regeneron Genetics Center has undertaken the exome sequencing and analysis of all 500,000 samples, using the DNAnexus Platform to host the dataset and run Regeneron’s software pipeline. To increase the value to the RGC UKB consortium, Regeneron and DNAnexus partnered to construct a combined database of the UKB genomic and phenotypic data to explore through an innovative “geno/pheno cohort browser” user interface. The cohort browser was designed to democratize data access, giving diverse teams the ability to browse through 3,000 phenotypic fields and 15,000,000 genomic variants across 100,000 samples and build cohorts.