Pharma companies have a lot of internal data about compounds they have developed and tested. Whether these compounds have been successful in targeting a particular disease or not, often the data from drug R&D projects is hard to access or reuse. On top of that, there is a considerable amount of public data available on compounds, drugs, diseases and their genetic associations, proteins and their coding genes, etc. Consequently, researchers struggle to analyze all this information and extract comprehensive insights from it.
A leading global Pharmaceutical company needed to improve their current process of developing new drugs and repurposing existing ones. They wanted to create a smart knowledge discovery solution that would help their researchers leverage all available proprietary and public data to:
The main challenge was how to extract knowledge from data residing in multiple sources, in heterogeneous formats and across various business units. In the existing drug development process, researchers looking to leverage preclinical or clinical data for particular compounds first had to find the relevant data sources. Then they had to search in each system independently, sometimes requiring further assistance from IT departments to perform their queries.
After collecting all required pieces of information, they had to integrate all different parts into a consistent report/record. This process was very time consuming and prone to errors, and even after all that effort, a lot of information still remained locked in unstructured data.
On top of that, as each of these reports/records related to one-off research, the resulting data, just like the data from previous drug testing (whether successful or not) was not reusable for other projects. Even when a new research had similar parameters to a previous project, researchers couldn’t build on existing results and had to start from scratch.
The preclinical knowledge discovery platform jointly developed by metaphacts and Ontotext enabled the Pharma company to transform and accelerate their drug development process. The solution covered the following steps:
The resulting application was rich and intuitive. It was also easy to adjust, extend and reuse to meet the Pharma company’s changing business needs and cater to new use cases or end user groups. Thanks to its ability to represent data as a network of relationships, the created knowledge graph not only provided access to diverse data sources, but also revealed previously unknown relationships in the data.
The solution employed a standardized data model, ontologies and vocabularies. Metadata was used to encode the meaning of the data and unique identifiers ensured that all meta-levels in the data were searchable, accessible, shareable and traceable. The resulting data made it a lot easier to find, reproduce and reuse research results. It also had clear provenance for addressing any data consistency issues coming from the highly dynamic environment of drug development.
With the new preclinical knowledge discovery platform developed by metaphacts and Ontotext, now the Pharma company has fast and easy access to information via a live knowledge graph where the data for all integrated public datasets is constantly updated.
Combining a highly scalable and robust RDF database like GraphDB with a big inventory of ready-to-use biomedical datasets as well as Ontotext’s proven methodology for semantic data integration enabled the Pharma company to quickly create a large-scale customized knowledge graph.
On top of that, metaphactory’s intuitive search and data exploration capabilities enabled the Pharma company’s researchers to interact with huge volumes of data consumed from the knowledge graph and use and reuse the knowledge locked in this data in a meaningful way.
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