Bio IT World Expo 2016  
Bio IT World Expo 2016
2014 Archived Content

Pharmaceutical R&D Informatics 

The Pharmaceutical R&D Informatics Track at Bio-IT will include case studies from senior research informatics experts across pharma and academia. They will outline how they continue to meet the need of supporting collaboration and externalization as well as discussing how big data and data science are impacting R&D currently. The new hot topic this year is informatics in support of biologics R&D, and another is registration systems which will be featured in-depth.

Final Agenda

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7:00 am Workshop Registration and Morning Coffee

8:00 - 11:30 Recommended Morning Pre-Conference Workshops*

Biologics, Bioassay, and Biospecimen Registration Systems - View Detailed Agenda 

12:30 - 4:00 pm Recommended Afternoon Pre-Conference Workshops*

IT & Informatics in Support of Collaboration and Externalization - View Detailed Agenda 

*Separate Registration Required.

2:00 - 7:00 pm Main Conference Registration

4:00 Event Chairperson's Opening Remarks

Cindy Crowninshield, RD, LDN, Conference Director, Cambridge Healthtech Institute


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5:00 – 7:00 Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing




7:00 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee

8:00 Chairperson's Opening Remarks

Phillips Kuhl, Co-Founder and President, Cambridge Healthtech Institute


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9:00 Benjamin Franklin Award & Laureate Presentation

9:30 Best Practices Awards Program

9:45 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

Big Data and Data Science in R&D and Translational Research 

10:50 Chairperson's Remarks

Ralph Haffner, Local Area Head, Research Informatics, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG

11:00 Can Data Science Save Pharmaceutical R&D?

Jason M. Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, Scientific Informatics & Early Development and Discovery Sciences IT, Merck

Although both premises -- that the viability of pharmaceutical R&D is mortally threatened, and that modern “data science” is a relevant superhero -- are suspect, it is clear that the productivity of R&D has been progressively declining and many areas of R&D have suboptimal use of data in decision-making. We will discuss some of the barriers to our overdue information revolution, and our strategy for overcoming them.

11:30 Enabling Data Science in Externalized Pharmaceutical R&D

Sándor Szalma, Ph.D., Head, External Innovation, R&D IT, Janssen Research & Development, LLC

Pharmaceutical companies have historically been involved in many external partnerships fueling their drug discovery and development engines. With recent proliferation of hosted solutions and the availability of cost effective massive high-performance computing resources there is an opportunity and a requirement now to enable collaborative data science. We discuss our experience in implementing robust solutions and pre-competitive approaches to further these goals.

12:00 pm Co-Presentation: Collaborative Waveform Analytics:  How New Approaches in Machine Learning and Enterprise Analytics will Extend Expert Knowledge and Improve Safety Assessment

Tim Carruthers, CEO, Neural ID

Matt Clifford, Healthcare Consultant, IDBS

Neural ID’s Intelligent Waveform Service (IWS) delivers the only enterprise biosignal analysis solution combining machine learning with human expertise. A collaborative platform supporting all phases of research and development, IWS addresses a significant unmet need, delivering scalable analytics and a single interoperable data format to transform productivity in life sciences. By enabling analysis from BioBook (IDBS) to original biosignals, IWS enables users of BioBook to evaluate cardio safety assessment across the R&D lifecycle.

12:15 Building a Life Sciences Data Lake: A Useful Approach to Big Data

Ben Szekely, Director & Founding Engineer, Cambridge Semantics

The promise of Big Data is in its ability to give us technology that can cope with overwhelming volume and variety of information that pervades R&D informatics. But the challenges are in practical use of disconnected and poorly described data. We will discuss: Linking Big Data from diverse sources for easy understanding and reuse; Building R&D informatics applications on top of a Life Sciences Data Lake; and Applications of a Data Lake in Pharma.

12:40 Luncheon Presentation I: Chemical Data Visualization in Spotfire

Matthew Stahl, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, OpenEye Scientific Software

Spotfire deftly facilitates the analysis and interrogation of data sets. Domain specific data, such as chemistry, presents a set of challenges that general data analysis tools have difficulty addressing directly. Fortunately, Spotfire is an extensible platform that can be augmented with domain specific abilities. Spotfire has been augmented to naturally handle cheminformatics and chemical data visualization through the integration of OpenEye toolkits. The OpenEye chemistry extensions for Spotfire will be presented.

1:10 Luncheon Presentation II (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) 

1:50 Chairperson's Remarks
Yuriy Gankin, Ph.D., Co. Founder and CSO, GGA Software Services 

1:55 Enable Translational Science by Integrating Data across the R&D Organization

Christian Gossens, Ph.D., Global Head, pRED Development Informatics Team, pRED Informatics, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

Innovation is vital for success in pharma, but there is no innovation without access to the right information. Multi-national pharmaceutical companies face an amazingly complex information management environment. The presentation will show that a systematic system landscaping approach is an effective tool to build a sustainable integrated data environment. Data integration is not mainly about technology, but the use and implementation of it.

2:25 The Role of Collaboration in Enabling Great Science in the Digital Age: The BARD Data Science Case Study

Andrea DeSouza, Director, Informatics & Data Analysis, Broad Institute

BARD (BioAssay Research Database) is a new, public web portal that uses a standard representation and common language for organizing chemical biology data. In this talk, I describe how data professionals and scientists collaborated to develop BARD, organize the NIH Molecular Libraries Program data, and create a new standard for bioassay data exchange.

2:55 Enhancing Research Productivity through Integrated Informatics

Rob Brown, Ph.D., Senior Director, Life Sciences Marketing, Accelrys

This talk will discuss the use of the Accelrys Cheminformatics Suite to enhance research productivity and innovation. Managing end-to-end scientific workflows in a unified informatics platform allows research organizations to streamline their operations and reduce operating costs, increase the potential for innovation through timely capture of information, enhanced collaboration and informed decision making and make effective decisions in an environment that crosses internal and external research.

3:10 GSK's Next Generation Collaborative Design Platform, Powered by Schrödinger's LiveDesign

Jeffrey Axten, Ph.D., Director, Medicinal Chemistry, Virtual Proof of Concept DPU, GlaxoSmithKline

The majority of small molecule drugs originate from an idea created based on knowledge of SAR, molecular properties, DMPK, and pharmacology. We believe that the availability of design tools and integration of modern design principles into the daily practice of chemists are critical factors influencing the conception of high quality new molecular entities. We set out to build a layer on-top of our existing software to help scientists digitize and improve their design process, simultaneously providing a collaborative working environment to complement today’s research culture. By leveraging Schrodinger's LiveDesign, GSK is enhancing its chemistry design software capabilities to provide drug discovery chemists a unified software platform. This talk will discuss what we have built and our vision for the future.

3:25 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

Collaboration and Externalization in R&D 

4:00 Co-Presentation: Informatics Paradox: Separating and Collaborating in Life Science

Sarah Blendermann, Senior Director, Chemistry & Pharmacology, Business Technology, Pfizer

Rick Somes, Senior Director, Acquisitions, Divestitures and Restructuring R&D Business Technology, Pfizer

Pfizer is in the process of completing the largest ever divestiture of an animal health organization spanning both commercial and research and development. The organization was faced with running operations and discovery while separating data and systems. Collaboration and segregation were key components of the informatics required to successfully meet an IPO timeline. A long-term collaboration agreement means ties between the organizations will remain, requiring longer-term technical solutions for granular security, collaboration, and data sharing.

4:30 Towards the Intelligent and Automated Analytical Laboratory

Dave Hartsough, Ph.D., Executive Director, Research & Development Informatics, Amgen

This presentation will provide an update on the progress of the Allotrope Foundation towards delivering an open framework solution for managing analytical data throughout its lifecycle and will include details on the deliverables, timelines, and results from completed proof-of-concept applications based upon the initial proposal and analysis presented in 2013.

5:00 Growing our Innovation Capability from the Inside-Out: AstraZeneca’s Journey to a New Way of Working
Scott Wilkins, Ph.D., Enterprise Innovation Director, AstraZeneca 

5:30 - 6:30 Best of Show Awards Reception in the Exhibit Hall


7:00 am Registration Open

7:00 Breakfast Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Morning Coffee

8:00 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Kevin Davies, Ph.D., Vice President Business Development & Publisher C&EN, American Chemical Society; Founding Editor, Bio-IT World


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10:00 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall and Poster Competition Winners Announced

Big Data and Data Science in R&D and Translational Research 

10:30 Chairperson's Opening Remarks

John Koch, Director, Scientific Information Architecture & Search, Merck

10:35 The Role of a Data Scientist in Drug Discovery and Development

Anastasia (Khoury) Christianson, Ph.D., Head, Translational R&D IT, Bristol-Myers Squibb

A major challenge in drug discovery and development is finding all the relevant data, information, and knowledge to ensure informed, evidence-based decisions in drug projects, including meaningful correlations between preclinical observations and clinical outcomes. This presentation will describe where and how data scientists can support pharma R&D.

11:05 Designing and Building a Data Sciences Capability to Support R&D and Corporate Big Data Needs

Shoibal Datta, Ph.D., Director, Data Sciences, Biogen Idec

To achieve Biogen Idec’s strategic goals, we have built a cross-disciplinary team to focus on key areas of interest and the required capabilities. To provide a reusable set of IT services we have broken down our platform to focus on the Ingestion, Digestion, Extraction and Analysis of data. In this presentation, we will outline how we brought focus and prioritization to our data sciences needs, our data sciences architecture, lessons learned and our future direction.

11:35 Data Experts: Improving Translational Drug-Development Efficiency
Jamie MacPherson, Ph.D., Consultant, Tessella 
We report on a novel approach to translational informatics support: embedding 'Data Experts' within drug-project teams. Data experts combine first-line informatics support and Business Analysis. They help teams exploit data sources that are diverse in type, scale and quality; analyse user-requirements and prototype potential software solutions.  We then explore scaling this approach from a specific drug development team to all. 

12:15 pm Luncheon Presentations (Sponsorship Opportunities Available) or Lunch on Your Own

1:15 Dessert Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

Biologics R&D Data Management – From Collaboration to Registration Systems 

1:55 Chairperson's Remarks

Sándor Szalma, Ph.D., Head, External Innovation, R&D IT, Janssen Research & Development, LLC

2:00 Registration Systems: Applications or Data Stores?

Arturo J. Morales, Ph.D., Vice President, Informatics, Emerald Bio; former Global Lead, Biology Platform Informatics, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

Registration systems are not applications that usually stand on their own. Their value comes from the enablement of downstream data analysis and sample tracking through proper management of concept and sample metadata. As such, most registration systems offer little intrinsic value to those that use it directly and user compliance can be a challenge. Thus, it is important to adapt to workflows, as opposed to making users adapt to them.

2:30 Development and Implementation of a Biologics Data Platform

Kai Herrmann, Ph.D., R&D IT Project Manager, BBS-ITS-R&D-HCR-BIO, Bayer Business Services GmbH

We report our experience over the last five years of developing and implementing an innovative turn-key solution for biologics R&D data management. The goal of the new platform was to increase the number and throughput of large-molecule R&D projects, to establish a shared collaboration platform for data exchange, and to improve the quality of results. We present specific challenges encountered, such as process complexity and diversity, process changes, constant adoption to new discovery technologies, direct instrument and robotics integration, and roll-out and system adoption in a large, globally operating biopharmaceutical organization.

3:00 Building the Biomolecules Management Platform

Monica Wang, Ph.D., Lead System Engineer, Project and Program Manager, R&D Systems, Takeda Boston

Building a comprehensive Biomolecules Management Platform is a very challenging task since there are many categories of biomolecular entities (e.g. cell lines, plasmids, proteins, antibody conjugates, etc.), each with vastly diverse properties and complicated relationships. We are building an enterprise solution to track individual biomolecules in different drug development workflows and visualize their relationships. This platform will improve user efficiency, data quality, data exchange and collaboration for both research and pre-clinical development departments across multiple R&D sites in Takeda.

3:30 Peptide Informatics – Bridging the Gap between Small- and Large-Molecule Systems

Lisa Sach-Peltason, Ph.D., Cheminformatics and Statistics, Pharma Research & Early Development Informatics, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

In recent years, peptides have been emerging as a promising therapeutic alternative, complementing the well-established small molecule and biologics modalities. Residing at the interface between small and large molecules, peptides open up new opportunities beyond traditional drug target boundaries, but at the same time pose specific challenges regarding data capture and analysis. To address these challenges, we have established informatics infrastructure for registering and analyzing peptide data, tightly integrated with our small-molecule systems at Roche. By introducing an intuitive sequence nomenclature and implementing tailored registration processes, peptide sequence and structure data are captured in a consistent way, enabling computational analysis, interfaces with other bioinformatics and cheminformatics systems, and preserving valuable data in a high-quality, harmonized form.

4:00 Conference Adjourns


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  • Making the World's Knowledge Computable
  • Bioinformatics in the Cloud
  • The Application of Text Analytics to Drug Safety Surveillance

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