Automated biobanking in R&D at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Monday, February 5
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is a leading science and technology company delivering life-transforming medicines for serious diseases. Founded by physician-scientists nearly 30 years ago, our science-driven approach has resulted in five FDA-approved medicines and numerous product candidates in a range of diseases, including asthma, pain, cancer, and infectious diseases. In addition to our medicines, our innovations include the VelociSuite®technologies, world-class manufacturing operations, one of the largest human genetics sequencing efforts in the world, and rapid response technologies being used for global good.
At Regeneron, we strive to use the most innovative and cutting-edge technologies to expedite and assure success in the drug discovery process. Large-scale biobanking, combined with proprietary automated solutions developed at Regeneron, allow us to manage and process large numbers of samples, ranging from tissues to nucleic acids and proteins. Accurate, highly-efficient sample storage allows researchers at Regeneron to store and extract several thousand unique samples per week for research purposes; done manually and without the aid of an automated biobank, this step would consume precious hours of human resources, lead to sample tracking errors, and result in unpredictable downstream problems in data analysis.
Due to the nature of research and discovery, and associated need to store a wide range of tissues, we employ various cold store solutions. As the number of programs increase, so do the complexity of sample variety and the need for tracking of every sample. To compliment the large number of manual freezers, we began to strategically implement automated biobanks at different locations. One of the main drivers for biobanking is to gain efficiency of sample handling and maintain full integrity of the sample and its whereabouts.
Our range of automated biobanks is as diverse as samples we store in it. We store nucleic acids, various tissues, cells and proteins in appropriate storage conditions. All biobanks are capable of automatic sample handling: receiving jobs from LIMS, barcode scanning during sample introduction, sample picking and data transmission to the respective LIMS. A fully automated biobank saves a significant amount of time when compared to manual sample processing.
Currently we use automated cold storage solutions ranging from -20°C to -150°C from various companies for the respective tissue storage conditions. By carefully evaluating the need of each group and the capability of each individual biobank, we were able to match the biobank hardware with respective group, enabling different departments to be more efficient.