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2017 Biotech Predictions Foretell Race Towards Cloud, e-Commerce and Greater Transparency
PALO ALTO, CA - Dec 13, 2016 - Bioz, Inc., developers of the worlds first search engine for life science experimentation, today highlighted six predictions for how the biotechnology industry will make strides in 2017 to advance health and drug discovery.
Bioz predicts that 2017 is the year biotech truly will catch up in terms of adopting new trending and emerging technologies in order to accelerate life science research and ultimately save lives. Not only does this include embracing the cloud, but also finding better ways to reach researchers and scientists through more efficient and transparent e-commerce tools that structure and aggregate knowledge from scientific data.
The race is on for traditional life science tool companies to adopt modern e-commerce platforms, such as advanced cloud-based search engines, unbiased reagent rating platforms, life science tool usage guides, and more efficient and transparent procurement methods, said Daniel Levitt, co-founder and CEO of Bioz. This shift is crucial, so that tool vendors can stay competitive in this crowded market of over 10,000 companies, and so that they can play a pivotal role in life science research by offering higher-quality products for researchers to use in experiments.
Bioz 2017 predictions include:
- Catch up on technology: NLP (Natural Language Processing), ML (Machine Learning) and AI (Artificial Intelligence), applied within a cloud-bio framework, will play an even bigger role in advancing methods and practices in both academic and biopharma research environments. This catch-up process will be driven by more early-stage investments in companies that are not only in the traditional biotech space, but also in companies that are focused on what Andreessen Horowitz dubbed as cloud biology, where software is used to inspire innovation and improve life science research and drug discovery. Because of this, there will be a shift towards utilizing the power of software, the cloud and other current technologies to advance life science research.
- Catch up on e-commerce: Life science tool vendors will continue to place an emphasis on the rapid implementation of advanced e-commerce platforms to streamline product procurement. Until recently, the sales strategy of life science tool companies primarily depended on traditional sales and marketing vehicles such as direct sales, mailings, print advertising, and trade conferences. These traditional approaches are proving themselves less effective than advanced online purchasing platforms that are now common in many other industries, but sorely lacking in life science tool procurement. However, the industry will see a shift whereby tool companies are starting to embrace e-commerce, with early adopters moving swiftly ahead. PwC analysis anticipates that by 2020, e-commerce sales in the life science research market will approach 80 percent, with traditional sales methods declining to 20 percent. This is further validated through Mercks $17B acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, as Merck named the latters leading life science e-commerce platform one of the key drivers of the acquisition.
- Catch up on quality: There will be an increased demand by researchers for greater transparency in the disclosure of the quality and compatibility of life science tools. Each year over $30 billion in tax payer money is allotted to the National Institute of Health, which means that every tax payer has reason to expect openness from life science tool companies - especially since their products are used by researchers whose work leads to the discovery of cures for diseases, new medications, and new treatments for ailments that affect all of us. Today, taxpayer money often goes to waste due to research products not working as advertised, causing researchers to lose weeks and months working with bad products.
As a case in point, antibodies fail almost 50 percent of the time, requiring researchers to perform multiple redundant experiments just to find an antibody that will work. These wasteful experiments result in hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on bad products, and further millions being spent on wasted researcher time. The public will demand greater transparency in knowing that their money is being put to good use.
- Catch up on data transparency: In the spirit of transparency, and with increasing public and government pressure, journal publishers will be required to make more scientific articles publically available. In an industry focused on work as imperative as life science research, and with the decline of printed journals in favor of online article delivery, it is unacceptable that researchers are blocked by publisher pay-walls. These publisher pay-walls require researchers to pay very high fees just to read articles that their research and experimentation depend on. With researchers performing the work that forms the basis of article content, and with taxpayers funding this work, it is implausible that article availability be impeded by publishers.
Earlier in 2016, the founder of Sci-Hub refused to shut down the website that makes more than 58 million journal articles freely available online, despite a court injunction and a lawsuit. Sci-Hub is just the beginning, as more researchers band together to support the open flow of research information. And Congress is getting involved, with two acts promoting open access to published scientific research funded by federal agencies currently under consideration: PAPS and FASTR. Over the next few years, significant strides will be made in making this information accessible to the public.
- Catch up on objective ratings: Less value will be placed on user-generated reviews and ratings of life science tools, with researchers becoming more dependent on data-driven objective product rating parameters. Amazon and Yelp provide user generated reviews and ratings, and while these can be useful in many industries, they are less effective in life science research, where biased agendas can impact the ratings of a product or assay. Moreover, the lack of data-driven objective product and service rating parameters has led to a flood of fake reviews in many industries, with some sites reporting that 30 percent of their reviews are fake. Objective, unbiased rating algorithms that are based on reliable sources of data will form the basis for accurate rating platforms that facilitate better researcher decision making.
- Catch up on female representation: According to recent research from the American Association of University Women, over 50 percent of biological scientists are female - up 10 percent from 1990. Despite this increase in representation in the field as a whole, there is a lack of women serving in either a management role or in an entrepreneurial capacity. The industry will see a shift, with women such as Elizabeth Iorns at Science Exchange and Narges Bani Asadi at Bina Technologies, at the helm of their companies, helping to lead the way. Women in leadership roles bring to the table a unique perspective and enlightened insights that often give their companies a leg up on the competition. This positive trend will inspire those female scientists who have entrepreneurial aspirations to launch their own businesses.
These predictions are based on what Bioz co-founders are seeing first-hand in the biotech and life science industry. Bioz co-founder and CEO Daniel Levitt is a serial entrepreneur, having founded several life science and high-technology companies, including a software company that was acquired by Microsoft. Co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Karin Lachmi is an accomplished Stanford research scientist and the visionary behind Bioz. Dr. Lachmi conceived of the idea for the company after years spent as a researcher, and having to deal with the inefficient and time-consuming process of product identification in the lab. With their combined expertise, Levitt and Dr. Lachmi provide broad insight into the biotech industry.
Bioz technology taps the latest advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) to mine and structure hundreds of millions of pages of complex and unstructured scientific papers, placing an unprecedented amount of summarized scientific experimentation knowledge at researchers fingertips. Bioz Stars provides unbiased and objective algorithmic ratings that are displayed for over 200 million life science products, tools, reagents, lab equipment, instruments, assays and kits.
Bioz is available free to researchers and scientists. Visit www.bioz.com and start using Bioz today to find the best products for your experiments.
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About Bioz, Inc.
Bioz, Inc. offers the worlds first search engine for life science experimentation. The patent-pending software platform combines the work of scientists with advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) to help life scientists in academia and biopharma make faster and smarter experimentation decisions, ultimately speeding up drug discovery and increasing the rate of success in finding cures for diseases. Founded in 2013 by Stanford research scientist, Karin Lachmi, Ph.D., and CEO Daniel Levitt, Bioz is a Stanford-StartX accelerator company. Bioz is used by 75,000 researchers from over 10,000 universities and companies in 189 countries. Try Bioz at www.bioz.com.