Clearing the Bioprocess Data Bottleneck in Development of Lentiviral Vectors

An exclusive look into how Synthace’s Antha bioprocess informatics reduces resource demand from data generation to interpretation by 94%.

London, July 28 2020: Leading lentiviral vector developers Oxford Biomedica (OXB) have been working with Synthace Ltd, the company behind Antha, the cloud-based software platform for automation and improving success in biological processes. In a newly published case study, OXB and Synthace show how Antha’s bioprocess informatics capabilities saved time and increased reliability in centralizing and processing complex data generated in OXB’s LentiVector® development platform.

The big data problem

Lentiviral vectors are at the centre of revolutionary cell and gene therapies targeting diseases from cancer to CNS disorders. In therapeutic areas in which large volumes of vectors are needed, the field faces new challenges in manufacturing and development which are gradually being addressed by implementing automated solutions to scale-up and standardize R&D. The industry generates more data now than ever, and a single upstream bioprocess run can easily generate millions of data points. As a result, the development bottleneck has shifted to data processing.

OXB’s lentiviral vector development platform requires high quality data which, in this case study, was captured manually and by Antha for comparison. The platform uses automated cell culture systems, such as the multi-parallel Sartorius ambr® 250 bioreactors, to generate complex on-line, in-line, and at-line process data. These measurements are taken by the device itself and by Nova Biomedical’s BioProfile® FLEX2 which captures 16 cell culture variables. These include data on cell diameter, viability, as well as key amino acid and chemical profiles.

Researchers currently gather and sort these data manually, using USB file transfer or emailing themselves from different devices. Vendor and spreadsheet software are used to collate, visualize, and interrogate the raw data, often presented in a different format from each device. This is a time-intensive process of data wrangling that may result in unintentional errors when transferring or later manipulating and processing the datasets.

Centralizing and automating informatics

OXB realized the need for a more efficient and robust approach to their data handling and began working with Antha. This software allows the user to create a workflow from each device used in the process, including all the data sent to Antha via the cloud. These data are easily tracked and organized, reducing the time required to gather, structure, and visualize results.

“We’re starting to deal with very big datasets, and some vendor software can be cumbersome and slow. Antha alleviates this problem by integrating offline data in a very user-friendly, comprehensive, and dynamic way,” says André Raposo, Group Lead of the Computer-Aided Biology Group at OXB.

Using Antha, the time spent processing data was reduced from hours to minutes, leading to:

  • 83% reduction in time spent uploading data from different devices, replacing it with centralized cloud storage
  • 92% reduction in time spent structuring the data – from 2.5 hours to just 15 minutes
  • 80% reduction in time required for visualizing the data
  • Overall time saving increased as more experiments were added, with a typical battery of analyses for process samples taking just 0.6 hours with Antha compared to over 10 hours with manual processing

Robust data analysis is essential for the field of cell and gene therapy as it continues to focus on reliability, affordability, and patient safety in development of lentiviral-based treatments. Antha allows its users to save on time while increasing the reliability and robustness of their data interrogation.

“The advantages of data processing with Antha are two-fold: the speed of Antha and the amount of data it can deal with. This is in keeping with Oxford Biomedica’s strategic drives to turn around data more quickly and to alleviate the time pressures associated with delivering and reporting to clients,” says Raposo.

Markus Gershater, CSO of Synthace stated “We’re thrilled with the results that OXB are seeing through their use of Antha. By applying automation, the potential for handling errors during data processing is almost eliminated, and issues with multiple users, software, and data formats are addressed instantly. The structured and annotated data also allows for digital bioprocessing, including machine learning approaches. As we have seen with this approach, Antha is adaptable to changes in the bioprocess workflow, and new technologies or vendors can easily be integrated into the platform.”

To learn more about Bioprocess Informatics with Oxford Biomedica visit: LP-OxB-Bioprocessing-Case-Study-index — Synthace


Follow Synthace:
Synthace Blog
Join the Twitter Conversation
Join us on LinkedIn

About Synthace

Based in London, UK, and Boston, US, Synthace is accelerating biological discovery & optimization through computer-aided biology. Our cloud software platform, Antha, empowers biologists by enabling them to flexibly program their lab automation without the need to code. The graphical user interface has been designed by biologists for biologists, intuitively enabling them to automate their whole experiment from planning to execution, data collection, and analysis. Antha is the cornerstone of the lab of the future, seamlessly connecting the digital realm of data with the physical of lab automation and wet-lab biology, automatically collecting and structuring data to accelerate biological understanding. Synthace is unlocking the potential of biology for humankind and our environment. Synthace works with biopharmaceutical companies, and in 2016 was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer that is helping shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and in 2018 as a Cool Vendor by Gartner.


About Oxford Biomedica

Oxford Biomedica (LSE:OXB) is a leading, fully integrated, gene and cell therapy group focused on developing life changing treatments for serious diseases. Oxford Biomedica and its subsidiaries (the "Group") have built a sector leading lentiviral vector delivery platform (LentiVector®), which the Group leverages to develop in vivo and ex vivo products both in-house and with partners. The Group has created a valuable proprietary portfolio of gene and cell therapy product candidates in the areas of oncology, ophthalmology, CNS disorders, liver diseases and respiratory disease. The Group has also entered into a number of partnerships, including with Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb, Sanofi, Axovant Gene Therapies, Orchard Therapeutics, Santen, Boehringer Ingelheim, the UK Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Consortium and Imperial Innovations, through which it has long-term economic interests in other potential gene and cell therapy products. Additionally the group has signed a Clinical and commercial supply agreement with AstraZeneca for large-scale manufacturing of the adeno based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AZ1222. Oxford Biomedica is based across several locations in Oxfordshire, UK and employs more than 550 people. Further information is available at


Press Enquiries:
Courtney Glymph, Head of PR