AstraZeneca picks Labguru to improve collaborations with academia

AstraZeneca ($AZN) has struck a deal with BioData to use Labguru across its preclinical R&D sites. The deal will see AstraZeneca phase out its current patchwork of legacy systems in favor of BioData's web-based lab management system.

Multiple AstraZeneca sites across Europe and North America are set to switch over to Labguru, which the Big Pharma thinks will simplify management of the biological reagents it uses in preclinical research. The platform is set up to track projects, protocols, biological samples and materials--as well as snag bulk discounts by grouping order requests by vendor--but for AstraZeneca one feature in particular stood out.

"BioData's experience with supporting academic groups, together with the cloud-based Labguru installation, will allow AstraZeneca scientists greater opportunities to share our biological research reagents with future external partners, to support new drug discovery projects for which there is currently an unmet medical need," AstraZeneca VP of Reagents and Assay Development Lorenz Mayr said in a statement.

Many of Labguru's users work in academia as principal investigators, lab managers and postdocs. And with AstraZeneca--like the rest of Big Pharma--increasingly looking to such people as sources of innovative drug discovery, it makes sense to try to lower the barriers between academia and industry. AstraZeneca's belief that Labguru is best placed to perform this task is a big boost for the platform, which is based on the LabLife Software assets BioData acquired back in 2011.

BioData made the acquisition after receiving an investment from Digital Science, a software unit within Macmillan Science & Education, the publishing company behind the journal Nature.

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