ACD Labs: Empowering Scientists to Fast-Track Chemistry Projects & Responding to Regulatory Queries

CIOReview Team | Tuesday, 07 February 2017, 12:31 IST

Scientific expertise is evolving into staggering levels as neo projects have unveiled new scopes in chemical researches. In this regard, it is imperative to keep analytical data alive and relevant by unlocking the untapped value hidden within chemistry projects. Small details with respect to decisions and the data that drives them can make the difference between the next breakthrough and a 100 failed trials. Additionally, as workload increases, the scientists themselves are forced to multitask and analyze more which can be detrimental to the final outcome of the experiments. ACD Labs, headquartered in Canada, with over 50 plus distribution centers globally and an Asian office in Bangalore, develops software solutions that enables creation followed by conservation of chemical outcomes of key experiments. Having an industry foothold for over two decades, ACD/Labs has enabled 10,000+ users in Asia with commercial software in various departments. ACD/Labs provides solutions for interpretation, processing and prediction in the important areas of Pharma & chemical research. The company’s expertise ranges from vendor-agnostic spectroscopic and chromatographic data processing &prediction; to interactive reporting; to integration of analytical data with chemical structures and importantly generating scientific justification for their work towards regulatory queries & audits.

For scientists working with small molecules in chemical, biochemical, and pharmaceutical R&D, commercial software solutions become a necessity to extract better value of research knowledge. For any R&D, a lot is at stake on how much can be achieved; how soon can it be achieved and with what level of confidence. ACD Labs focuses on providing the tools which not only generates the useful information / results but also provides the justification of the conclusions so that the work is finished with confidence and right scientific backing. For instance, the structure of an impurity is hard to arrive at and there are several experiments conducted to finalize the same. ACD Labs’ software is designed to elucidate these structures and provide justification. At the same time, it generates information, not only to prove the reason for it being correct but also the reason for others being incorrect, which incidentally is the key requirement within the fraternity. 

At The Forefront of Quality
Producing good quality API is crucial to the long-term success of the pharmaceutical industry as research & development (R&D) has grown challenging. In are port by FDA in 2010, the shortages of drugs had tripled from that in 2005, in most cases; reasons indicated a correlation to quality. It directed focus in Asia and rightly so was on API R&D. In order to ensure quality, FDA has mandated QbD; resulting in a huge number of companies to start implementing the necessary changes and tools to facilitate it. ACD Labs has been delivering a chemically intelligent solution based on principles of QbD; that offers the right backing and systematic approach to method development, significantly reducing the number of trials and the time used in chromatography method development.

Spectrus and Percepta
Building on ACD/Labs expertise in spectroscopy, spectrometry, and chromatography software, ACD/ SPECTRUS platform was built to work on current existing knowledge management solutions. The platform has been uniquely constructed to enable cutting edge R&D to enable extraction, retention and leverage on knowledge obtained. Spectrus, makes it easier for organizations to manage unified analytical data from multiple techniques and instruments. The platform is able to read the data generated from different analytical techniques and vendors into a universal format and proceeds to make it interactive in case of a regulatory query. “The key differentiator being that Spectrus is the only platform which can be put to use to search for spectral similarity and structure similarity in addition to standard search routines”, asserts K. K Bhagchandani, Senior Director - Asia & Pacific Business, ACD Labs. This system helps organizations to reduce redundancy and enables to re-use the knowledge in a unique and desirable way.

Yet another platform from ACD Labs, Percepta, was built upon the industry-standard prediction algorithm, which is used across the industry and scientific content providers like CAS, ChemSpider, PubChem, etc. The company has successfully built an enumeration engine and a visualization engine for faster and easier screening of the compounds based on an assortment of end-points profiling - PhysChem, ADME and Toxicity in a single interface. The platform is created on a cloud-based environment for collaboration and easier management of prediction quality at a corporate level.

Laying the Foundation for Important Discoveries
In the early 2000 there were several initiatives of drug-discovery in the market where ACD Labs worked behind the scenes through MedChem. Following that emerged the CRO boom where again, ACD enabled thousands of users with unification tools and catered to a thousands of licenses to a CRO in China& India, saving them significant time and doubling the deployment. “We have been able to decode the science part thereby creating a correlation of science and its application. Our next endeavour is to simplify the way they work and interact with users”, says KK. After 10 years of providing solution for structure elucidation of impurities, ACD Labs now foresees to add a series of solutions to meet the needs in the chemist’s community and work behind the scenes for many more important discoveries.