GGA Software Services, a leading provider of scientific informatics services, has delivered an electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) query service definition to the Pistoia Alliance, completing an important milestone in Pistoia’s program of developing an industry-standard query interface for ELN data.
The Pistoia Alliance, an open source initiative in the pharmaceutical industry, selected GGA to collaborate on this initiative through a competitive bidding process. The objective was to prototype a common method of querying multiple ELN implementations. GGA, in collaboration with Pistoia working group members, analyzed user stories and use cases, developed process and domain models and objects, and created a formal definition of the desired ELN query interface.
GGA’s delivery of the interface definition allows Pistoia to move to the next phase of the project, namely, the creation of a reference implementation of the interface. Richard Golob, President and Chief Executive Officer of GGA Software Services, said, “GGA is pleased to have contributed to the Pistoia Alliance’s efforts, and we will continue to seek ways to assist Pistoia on other projects.” GGA is currently collaborating with Pistoia to help in developing the interface, which will contain industry-standard definitions, a search application, and a service specification for accessing and reporting ELN information.
A standard query interface for ELN data has the potential to provide valuable benefits for the scientific community. First, it would allow query applications to consolidate data obtained from multiple and disparate ELN implementations into a single collection of results, enabling scientists to search scientific data stored in ELNs from different vendors. Such a capability would facilitate rapid data access and lower the costs of sharing ELN data with partners and CROs. Second, such an interface would facilitate the process and reduce the cost of migrating from one ELN authoring tool to another by allowing data from the previous tool to be searched and retrieved without undertaking a costly migration to the format used by the new tool. Third, the resulting increase in functionality, performance, and overall value of ELNs would enable ELN providers to focus more on large-scale innovations in their ELN engines.
“GGA’s completion of the query services definition and design is an important step toward creating a uniform industry standard by which scientists can acquire and consolidate experimental, analytical, and structural data from different ELN sources,” said GGA’s Golob. “We look forward to continuing to provide support to the Pistoia Alliance in developing a proof-of-concept interface with actual source data.”
The ELN query service project is an undertaking of the Pistoia Alliance’s ELN Query Services Working Group, and Pistoia currently has three additional active working groups that are focused on the following projects:
• Semantically Enriched Scientific Literature – An open knowledge brokering framework standard that scientists can use to rapidly gather information on disease-causing genes.
• Sequence Services – An externally-hosted service for the storage and mining of in-house gene and sequence information as well as external public databases.
• Vocabulary Standards Initiative: Molecular Drug Target Reporting Standard – A universal standard for describing a molecular drug target within structured content, as well as a standard for managing information on a core molecular entity.
The Pistoia Alliance is receptive to developing new initiatives that will serve to deliver key industry information standards at a lower cost of ownership for member companies. In this way, Pistoia can fulfill its mission to streamline non-competitive elements of the life science workflow by the specification of common standards, business terms, relationships, and processes.
GGA has extensive experience in the custom design of ELNs and laboratory informatics management systems, and is committed to contributing to industry initiatives in the pre-competitive space. GGA’s Golob commented, “GGA values our working relationship with the Pistoia Alliance to develop tools for the increased dissemination and analysis of scientific information across life sciences organizations. Furthermore, GGA itself has created a suite of open-source cheminformatics applications that can be used under a General Public License.”
GGA Software Services is a leading provider of outsourced scientific informatics services to the life sciences industry. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with a best-of-class development center in St. Petersburg, Russia, GGA offers broad capabilities in scientific software engineering, algorithm development, and knowledge management, especially in cheminformatics, bioinformatics, and development informatics. Global pharmaceutical, scientific instrumentation, and medical device corporations as well as early-stage life science companies rely on GGA to provide ongoing scientific informatics services, including support, maintenance, and QA services, to enhance their internal resources. Since 1994, GGA has successfully served as an extended workbench for its clients, allowing them to both achieve their critical objectives and optimize their scientific informatics budget. For more information, please visit GGA’s website at www.ggasoftware.com.
The Pistoia Alliance is a global, not-for-profit, precompetitive alliance of life science companies, vendors, publishers, and academics that aims to lower barriers to innovation by improving the interoperability of R&D business processes. Initially conceived in 2007 by informatics experts at four “Top Five” pharma companies, the Pistoia Alliance now includes over 45 member companies. By assembling and aggregating common use cases, identifying specific, high-value areas of opportunity, and exploiting contemporary technologies and service delivery models, the Pistoia Alliance serves as a hub for envisioning information-based solutions that will drive innovation and productivity in the precompetitive domains of life science R&D. Learn more about the Pistoia Alliance by visiting www.pistoiaalliance.org.