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Improving Protein Purification through Data Science

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. tackles rare diseases using biologic therapeutics. These transform the lives of many patients affected by devastating conditions such as Generalized Myasthenia Gravis (gMG) and Hypophosphatasia (HPP). Development-stage research requires harmonization of heterogeneous data and constant refinement of the data curation process. Through use of the Tetra Data Platform (TDP), Alexion can more easily access protein purification data from FPLC runs so that scientists can directly probe, test, and identify their best protein purification strategy with only a few clicks. Through harmonizing raw data and other systems in the cloud, Alexion is also poised to execute a digital pharma strategy and AI/ML-powered drug discovery.

Alexion's relentless pursuit of operational excellence requires an in-depth data strategy. Scientific results from Cytiva (formerly known as GE UNICORN) and new data sources can now easily be added to and automated on the TDP. By ensuring that scientists can tackle higher-value tasks, Alexion realizes higher data quality, achieves greater scalability and increases efficiency at multiple levels within its Downstream Process Development operations. Going forward, the TDP will continuously standardize and harmonize instrument datasets, molecule databases and ELNs, empowering scientists to identify the best protein purification strategy.


Scheme 1 - Tetra UNICORN Data Science Link

Why Change and Re-Platform?

Alexion needs a fully automated data platform that helps its downstream process development teams gain instantaneous access to scientific datasets from protein purification systems, molecular databases and file systems. 


Expected Outcomes

Alexion scientists will free their valuable time from manual data collection and curation and can focus on their core research activities.  By minimizing human intervention, data integrity and accuracy can be ensured which accelerates the discovery time from weeks to potentially minutes. Additionally, the Tetra Data Platform surfaces raw, harmonized, and processed data to a variety of visualization and search tools, further expediting R&D efficiency.

Who Should Read: Bench researchers, data scientists & engineers, scientists, IT professionals, lab operations professionals, instrument specialists

Product Focus: Research novel molecules and targets in the complement cascade and the development efforts in the core therapeutic areas of hematology, nephrology, neurology, metabolic and cardiology 

Industry:  Biopharmaceuticals

Therapeutic Areas: Neurology, Hematology, Nephrology, Metabolics, Cardiology

Client: Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN), a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on serving patients with devastating and rare disorders through the development and commercialization of life-transforming therapeutics.

KPIs / Results: Time Savings (+2 hours / scientist / wk on manual data wrangling), Reduced Complexity (reduction in manual errors, enabled automated downstream analysis with data science applications), Accelerated Insights (from weeks to minutes), Improved Transparency and Future-Proofing (versatile, configurable pipelines and harmonized data across vendors).

“Alexion’s downstream process development, while functional for a fast-growing company, presented scalability issues.  With the Tetra Data Platform implemented, many tasks that once took weeks will be completed in minutes.  The transition to automated, cloud-based workflows will build efficiencies across multiple levels of Alexion’s downstream process organization and eliminate constraining scalability barriers.”

Trung Thieu, Associate Scientist V, Alexion


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