Research programs using large compound or sample repositories, such as those prevalent in the drug discovery industry, require efficient management to maximize usability and minimize costs. Such collections can be very diverse, ranging from small molecule chemical reagents to biopharmaceuticals and tissue samples.
As the number, diversity, and size of sample collections around the world continues to swell, the need for dedicated software management tools increases. While large collections provide researchers with more options, the larger and more complex they become, the more difficult it is to ensure that they can be utilized easily and effectively.
In some large pharmaceutical corporations, there is a desire to amalgamate all sample types—be they chemical reagents, drug candidates, bioreagents, or biological samples—into a common framework to reduce overall maintenance and auditing costs.
In the past, many organizations have chosen to set up and maintain their own sample-management software systems. However, this has often proven impractical, inflexible, costly, and resource-intensive. For this reason, many have now turned to outsourced solutions. Titian Software has supplied its Mosaic sample-management system to customers ranging from large pharmaceutical companies to biotech start-ups and CROs whose chemical and biological sample collections typically contain anywhere between 25,000 and 5 million entities.
To meet such a diverse range of needs, sample-management solutions such as Mosaic need to be flexible but powerful. In some cases, samples may be in small collections and require frequent access with minimal automation, whereas others may be in large repositories, stored across multiple sites that span the globe. Therefore, while Mosaic can be integrated with all of the leading providers of automated stores, it also supports manually-accessed storage locations (for example via PDA, Figure 1), or semi-automated retrieval of containers from carousel-based stores.