BioBright, Sanger Institute aim to cut drug-development time

Collaboration promises better, more reproducible biomedical data

BioBright, Sanger Institute aim to cut drug-development time

Gosia Trynka (left) and Charles Fracchia, BioBright CEO, are employing BioBright tools in Trynka’s lab at the Wellcome Sanger Institute
Gosia Trynka (left) and Charles Fracchia, BioBright CEO, are employing BioBright tools in Trynka’s lab at the Wellcome Sanger Institute

BOSTON, Mass. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — BioBright, a firm dedicated to creating the smart laboratory of the future, has announced a collaboration with the Wellcome Sanger Institute that could lead to the faster development of drugs for diseases of the immune system like rheumatoid arthritis.

BioBright tools automate the data collection and analysis that currently dominate researchers’ workdays. Just as important, they also allow the liberation of additional data that can give researchers more confidence in their experimental results and make those results more reproducible.

“We are building assistive computer systems to remove the minutiae from scientists’ day-to-day lives so they can focus on what they are trained to do: think about the experiment.”

Charles Fracchia, BioBright CEO

Charles notes that 80 percent of a scientist’s time can be spent extracting core data from an experiment. BioBright tools can also easily extract and analyze a variety of additional data that until now has often not been available. This metadata, which includes things like small changes in cell culture temperature, can help researchers identify and control variables that may affect their results.

The collaboration is with the Sanger Institute’s Dr. Gosia Trynka, whose project using genomics to prioritize gene candidates for drugs against auto-immune diseases, is run with Open Targets, a partnership between pharmaceutical companies and research institutes (including Sanger) that aims to transform drug discovery.

“Genomic experiments are very sensitive to many variables in the lab. BioBright’s tools will not only save us time in analyzing our data, they will allow us to measure variables that we wouldn’t otherwise have measured easily. The information will enable us to correct for the variability, leading to more reproducible results.”

Gosia Trynka, Group Leader at the Wellcome Sanger Institute

Key to the work is BioBright’s Darwin Sync software that automatically collects much more lab data—including metadata—than is currently possible. Darwin Sync and BioBright’s Darwin voice-recognition system also allow scientists to interact with the data.

“You can ask complex questions like, ‘Show me all the images that have this exposure with this filter on this organism.’ That’s also not possible today.”

Charles Fracchia, BioBright CEO

Today’s advanced instrumentation and computational capabilities allow the collection of more and more data. That paves the way for important new discoveries.

“The problem is we’re drowning in data. BioBright allows you to get a handle on that volume. Ultimately that could cut the time involved in drug development.”

Charles Fracchia, BioBright CEO

Notes to Editors
Selected Websites
My career in genomics: immune diseasesVideoMy career in genomics: immune diseases
In this film Gosia Trynka talks about her research looking at the effect of genetic changes on the immune system. This is one of a series of films providing a unique insight into different careers in the field of genomics. 

How is pharmacogenomics being used?StoriesHow is pharmacogenomics being used?
In a small number of cases, doctors are able to use pharmacogenomics in their treatment of patients.

Contact the Press Office

Dr Samantha Wynne, Media Officer

Tel +44 (0)1223 492 368

Emily Mobley, Media Officer

Tel +44 (0)1223 496 851

Wellcome Sanger Institute,
CB10 1SA,

Mobile +44 (0) 7900 607793

Recent News

Deadly malaria’s evolution revealed

Study shows Plasmodium falciparum emerged earlier than thought and gives clues to how deadly parasites arise

Gonorrhoea surveillance study maps antibiotic resistance across Europe

Genomic approach could help doctors monitor emerging resistance and prescribe most effective antibiotics in the future

Sanger’s Head of Cancer, Ageing and Somatic Mutation Programme honoured by EMBO

Dr Peter Campbell becomes an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization