KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. — GlaxoSmithKline has developed a web-based reagent catalog to help it manage the cell lines, plasmids, microbial strains, and viruses it uses in its research, according to a company official.
The new system may help reduce variability in reagents for cell-based assays and reduce the risk of cross-contamination, Laurie Overton, manager of GSK’s fermentation facility in Research Triangle Park, NC, said at the Society for Biomolecular Sciences conference held here this week.
The application provides reagent information, registration, and inventory management, as well as a separate inventory designed to keep track of final reagents, including frozen cells ready for assay development and high-throughput screening.
The repository maintained at multiple GSK sites by dedicated site curators. “I think the biggest thing is just the fact that we have dedicated staff whose job it is to review the forms and to scale up the reagents,” Overton told CBA News following her presentation at SBS.
Dedicated staff is necessary to enforce the maintenance of the inventory, because otherwise, researchers do not really want to spend the time filling out forms and giving up samples, she said.
She continued by saying that when GSK scientists make a big batch of reagent for HTS that it is important “to key in all of the information that researchers will need if they are going to use that biological, whether it be concentration of protein, the number of cells, or whatever it is.”
Overton also stressed the importance of validating the reagents, quipping that “you want to make sure that what you have is not junk, because you are just going to waste someone’s time if you start handing out junk.
Overton advised that those looking to implement such a system should consider “banking basic information … scaling up the biologicals in a reproducible way,” and storing them safely.
“We are kind of like an in-house catalog, like an in-house ATCC,” she said, referring to the private, nonprofit biological resource center and research organization.