Project Description

BioTech Startup

By Shen Lin, Research Scientist, Spirovant Sciences, USA

Can you tell us a bit more about your work and what do you find most interesting about it?

I am the first research scientist hired by a startup biotech company, Spirovant Sciences, to oversee preclinical testing for its therapeutic products.

Spirovant is developing novel gene therapy cures for cystic fibrosis and has two molecules in its pipeline – AAV and Lentivirus. I have been working mostly with AAV development and work with multiple stakeholders both within the company as well as with our scientific collaborators outside.

I find it interesting to be both in industry and in academia at the same time while developing an important new treatment for a devastating genetic disease.

How did you decide to start using an electronic lab notebook?

“I decided I needed to record data electronically because eventually we will need to get the data validated and signed when we progress to Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and Good Manufacturing Pratices (GMP) stages of preclinical development.”

An electronic lab database would also serve as a conduit for other people to see what experiments I have done. This would be useful for making summary reports for my managers in future, if new people were to join in on my project or if I leave my position.

Which were the main reasons that you chose SciNote?

I did a quick search to see what ELNs people were using and SciNote came out high on capabilities in that search, with good user reviews. One of the postdocs in the lab also mentioned that he had heard SciNote was popular as an ELN.

How much time did it take you to get familiar with SciNote in the beginning and start using it?

It did not take long. I tried using the free version of SciNote initially and I could upload data easily.

“When we paid for the premium version of SciNote I went over the platform with the SciNote implementation specialist, who guided me through the basic layout. I could use it the next day.”

How does SciNote fit into your workdays and where is it most helpful?

In the beginning I uploaded all of my laboratory protocols onto SciNote and it took a few weeks. But once the protocols were on there I often flipped back to that page to remind myself of the experimental setup.

When I first started, we were generating a lot of data from our cell culture and in vitro studies so I frequently used SciNote to upload that data.

I also used the SciNote summary to generate a couple of lab reports. Now we are working more on animal data and it takes longer to generate. I use SciNote maybe once a week or every two weeks.

Please note: Our lab does not upload large amounts of genomic /proteomics data to ELNs yet. There is no culture or drive to integrate any devices to cloud computing and send data straight to ELNs. Therefore ELNs only play only a very small part of data documentation.

Which are the benefits of using SciNote i.e. what do you like most about it?

I like uploading my protocols into SciNote and linking them to each set of experimental data. This way I know what I did for each experiment to get that data.

“We are really using SciNote for the future for when we have to sign and lock the documents.”

What is your experience with the SciNote team?

“The experience has been great! The SciNote team are wonderful when it comes to helping users get familiar with the software and following up with questions.”

Would you recommend SciNote to other scientists and why?

Sure! The future is all about collecting large amounts of data and sharing it efficiently within teams. That must start with getting rid of old physical lab books and using electronic books.