2017 was a big year for product development at Benchling. From launching four brand new modules, to adding over 200 features, to enhancing the experience for our 100,000+ loyal users, our developers innovated at a breathtaking pace that surpassed all industry standards. Now with the most comprehensive platform supporting all research modalities from early discovery to late-stage development, Benchling has become the leader in cloud-based informatics for life sciences R&D.Let’s take a look at the highlights of what we developed in the past year.
Building out the first end-to-end biologics platform
We started 2017 with a platform that provided an integrated lab notebook, biologics registration, and molecular biology design experience. To deliver on our vision of making Benchling the first end-to-end platform for biologics R&D, we launched four brand new modules that add biologics sample tracking, workflow management, request management, and data warehousing functionality to the platform. Benchling now supports the full breadth of data management needs for biologics R&D.
Benchling’s Sample Tracking system maps samples to physical locations in the R&D organization. Natively integrated with the Bioregistry, Sample Tracking covers the full breadth of sample management needs by modeling plates, boxes, containers as well as complex mixtures. The system also supports label printing and matrix rack scanning.
Workflow & Results Management
Workflow & Results Management is a new class of informatics software that makes biologics R&D trackable and measurable for the first time. It’s a flexible solution purpose-built to organize, optimize, and measure biologics processes step-by-step across teams, from discovery to bioprocessing. Teams can take any process-driven workflow; organize it into stages; assign stages to team members; and surface important inputs, outputs, and key results on an executive dashboard.
Request Management streamlines every step of the request fulfillment process — from scheduling and documentation to tracking and reporting. Request Management enables R&D organizations to gain real-time visibility into request progress so teams can optimize resource allocation and productivity.
Benchling’s Data Warehouse provides a standardized SQL interface to all data inputted into Benchling. Administrators can connect third party visualization tools (e.g. Tableau, Spotfire) to run complex queries on all their organization’s data, enabling more efficient optimization and troubleshooting of R&D processes.
Strengthening our foundational modules
In addition to developing robust platform capabilities, we constantly strive to strengthen Benchling’s foundational modules — our Lab Notebook, Bioregistry, and Molecular Biology Suite — and ensure they can be easily integrated to fit the needs of every biologics R&D organization.
We enhanced the Benchling Lab Notebook by adding structured data tables, which lets users register samples and capture assay data and images in a structured manner directly from the notebook. This groundbreaking feature allows the notebook to flexibly adapt to processes while giving users the ability to capture structured data. And since all structured data can be queried on Benchling, scientists now have a way to mine data from across the organization to accelerate R&D.
Benchling’s Bioregistry is the first registration system that can accurately model the complexity of biologics. It’s fully configurable, flexibly accommodates any research modality, and tracks the complete historical context of a sample. To expand the Bioregistry’s capabilities, we added:
- Assay data tracking to samples, which displays all results generated by a sample right in the Bioregistry.
- Significant enhancements to the user experience, by way of an improved spreadsheet bulk importer, even friendlier interface, and more intuitive user experience.
- Computed fields, a groundbreaking feature that automatically calculates defined fields for an entity, thereby eliminating manual, error-prone computation. With Computed Fields, Benchling can automatically calculate for instance, a cell line’s reporters by defining a Reporters computed field as the Parent Cell Line’s Reporters + Input Plasmids’ Expression Reporter – Loss of Reporter for all cell lines, even if the ancestry lineage is hundreds of entities.
Benchling’s Molecular Biology Suite is the industry-leading sequence design and analysis package that unifies 10+ tools on one interface. We enhanced the suite’s functionality by releasing bulk assembly, a feature that processes combinatorial restriction enzyme assemblies and enables cloning simulations between multiple backbones and inserts in one click.
Expanding the enterprise feature toolbox
As we’ve expanded our footprint into large pharmaceutical companies, we’ve added new product capabilities to strengthen our enterprise offering. Key additions to the Benchling platform this year include:
Advanced audit trails that enable administrators to download a full audit report on metadata changes made on any registered entity, sample, container, box, plate, or location, enabling GcLP compliance.
Rich permissioning to enforce granular Read, Append, and Write access controls on entities, samples, boxes, plates, and locations. The new permissioning structure enables administrators to automatically enforce SOPs by granting sample viewership rights to standard users, but restricting editing and registration rights to select team members.
Archiving functionality, which ensures all deleted files remain accessible and searchable.
Enhanced search filters that make it easier to locate samples in Benchling. Users can now apply Name, Registry ID, or Alias as well as Annotation filters, in addition to the previously available Name, Author, and Entity Type filters. We also expanded the number of search operators to enable more specialized queries (e.g. “includes text”, “is none of”).
If you haven’t tried Benchling, we encourage you to request a demo or sign up for a free account. Our solution will increase your research productivity and improve R&D decisions made across the organization.
If you use Benchling: what did you think of this year’s features? We’d be delighted to receive your feedback via the in-app chat.