Case study: Via Nova Therapeutics uses CDD Vault to support global collaboration

Via Nova Therapeutics deploys state-of-the-art drug discovery modalities to identify novel, first-in-class antivirals for the individual infections it studies.

These modalities include phenotypic screening in infected cultured cells, biochemical screening in vitro on virus-encoded enzymatic targets and structure-based drug design, as well as combinations of the above approaches. Where appropriate, the company also targets host factors essential for viral infection.

The problem

The application of these approaches has generated specific antiviral programmes targeting influenza, rhinovirus, BK virus, and adenovirus. Initially, the company uploaded spreadsheets into a shared repository, but soon outgrew this solution and required a secure and robust central repository to support collaboration across the globe. Via Nova Therapeutics deployed Collaborative Drug Discovery’s CDD Vault – the hosted drug discovery informatics platform that securely manages both internal and external biological and chemical data.

“Prior to CDD Vault, if someone wanted to dive into the data, we would waste time trying to find the exact data sets we needed,” says Benjamin R Taft, PhD, Executive Director, Chemistry, at Via Nova Therapeutics. “CDD Vault really helps us get organised and have all of our data in one place where we consider it published and ‘final’, searchable and sortable.”

The benefits

Via Nova Therapeutics has found a number of benefits since adopting CDD Vault, including: 

  • Gaining ‘one true secure data repository’
  • Supporting a globally dispersed workforce
  • Facilitating collaboration
  • Creating the flexibility to upload rich data
  • An integrated visualisation tool
  • Pricing that represents a ‘huge value’
  • A working arrangement  that ‘feels like a partnership because CDD is a great company to work with’.

After trying to store and track data within its previous shared repository, Via Nova Therapeutics has a deep appreciation for the ease of use and precision of CDD Vault. 

“We’ve gained something mission critical from a business standpoint – having one true secure data repository,” says Taft. “All the new data we generate as a company gets uploaded into our CDD Vault. From there, we can sort it, query the most important data really effectively and efficiently to find and then visualise it – with plots and graphics, if needed. And we can do this from wherever we have connectivity. I even look at data from my phone at times!”

Supporting a globally dispersed workforce

With its globally dispersed workforce, Via Nova Therapeutics values the unifying force of its CDD Vault.

“We’re rarely in the same building, let alone the same room, but we’re all working together using CDD Vault as our one true source of data,” says Taft. “Our people can access data from anywhere in the world, which is critical for our work.”

The company also appreciates that it can provide granular access to data to CROs and contractors. “We have contractors and part-time employees that are supporting some of our projects,” says Taft. “We can give them access to the Vault, with layers of security so that they can only access the data required for their work, allowing them to register structures, upload data, as well as download their allowed data into other tools as needed. This helps them work more efficiently, and it frees us from having to always be doing things for them.”

Facilitating collaboration

Via Nova Therapeutics values the ways in which CDD Vault facilitates collaboration across its operations. “We have files come in almost every morning from our contract labs in Asia,” Taft says. “I can review the data from my home, send over a note to a colleague in a different county, who will QC the data and upload it into the Vault. I can then pull the data into a query, visualise it, create slides and show visualisations of the data to our executive team – it’s all pretty seamless. The collaboration that CDD Vault enables is awesome.” 

The flexibility to upload rich data

Via Nova Therapeutics is impressed with the wealth of supplementary information it can store within CDD Vault. “We’re doing exclusively small molecules but, for some of our more advanced programmes, we have lots of additional data associated with each molecule. One of our favourite features is how flexible the CDD Vault is. You can pretty much upload any data you want.”

Taft was also impressed by the ease with which the extra data was uploaded into CD Vault. “We recently got some really complex PK data, which is analysing three different tissue types across different time points,” Taft says. “It was a huge web of complicated data. My colleague, who does most of the uploading, was able to do it within half an hour. This included plots of the PK time course curves, dose-response curves, in vitro, in vivo, and DMPK – it’s all in there. CDD Vault allows us to put everything we want in there very easily.”

Integrated visualisation tool

The visualisation tool built into CDD Vault has proven popular with scientists at Via Nova Therapeutics. “We like the fact that visualisation is built into CDD Vault,” Taft says. “It’s already there so, if I’m querying data, visualisation is just one click away. Something as simple as a scatter plot can sometimes really help you look at the data. The visualisation tool is convenient, fast, and it allows you to do a lot of the visualisation that you need on a day-to-day basis in a very convenient, streamlined way.”

The company also likes the fact that CDD Vault integrates seamlessly with third-party visualisation tools. “If I need to do something that’s a little more complex, I can easily export the data into our StarDrop™ software. And it’s pretty seamless. It’s really nice it has that function to interface with other software because you can’t expect one piece of software to do everything. There’s always going to be other things you want to do.”

CDD pricing represents a ‘huge value’

Via Nova Therapeutics wants to dedicate its resources toward research – not infrastructure. 

“We want to stay lean as we move towards our next value inflection point in our company,” Taft says. “Coming from a large pharmaceutical background, you have a good idea of the kind of immense infrastructure those organisations have for data storage. We’re able to achieve our centralised data repository needs with CDD Vault – without having to invest in infrastructure. And we are getting this at a great price point. We see CDD Vault as a huge value.”

For more information, visit www.collaborativedrug.com

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