Product Bulletin: 2020 Year In Review

Prem Mohanty
Product Marketing

2020 was a momentous year for the life science industry. Many companies had to pivot their R&D programs and adjust operations, all while racing towards creating diagnostics, vaccines, and treatments for COVID-19. Digital transformation has gained strategic importance as organizations seek to accelerate R&D across teams that may be working remotely, across sites, or with development partners. At Benchling, we are now working with over 400 cutting-edge R&D organizations and shipped hundreds of new features this past year to help accelerate life sciences R&D.

Make data driven decisions across studies and programs

Scientific decision support is critical to R&D, yet often requires excessive time spent to find and aggregate data. Teams still rely heavily on spreadsheets and email to communicate findings and draw conclusions. Benchling helps centralize and standardize your R&D data, such that they can be queried easily to inform decisions. In 2020, we launched an analytics solution within Benchling for scientific decision support.

  • Benchling Insights: Benchling Insights lets users query, visualize, and collaborate around high quality, structured data right inside the product. Now, with Insights, you have the tools to make faster, more informed decisions about your scientific pipeline and operational processes, ultimately accelerating the pace of your research.

  • Dashboard enhancements: Since the launch of Insights, we have made several updates to the dashboard user interface which allow users to drag and drop dashboard blocks, view dynamic warehouse diagrams to understand relationships between data tables, configure more parameters, and sort data tables. These enhancements allow users to access and analyze their data quickly and efficiently.

In 2021, we look forward to building new visualizations, scientific analytics, and embedding Insights into other applications of Benchling.


Connect your lab hardware and software ecosystem

Many life science companies have increased their investment in laboratory automation and analytical instrumentation. As this network of instruments and software gets more complex, it can lead to data silos, reduced data integrity, and lost productivity, all of which erodes the gains these investments were intended to deliver. In 2020, we added new capabilities to link your lab instrumentation and software to Benchling.

  • Benchling for Lab Automation This new addition to Benchling helps you harness the full potential of your laboratory robotics and analytical instrumentation by connecting them to Benchling. Scientists can configure experiments, process up to 10,000 samples at once, and automatically update sample data all directly from the Benchling Notebook interface. This provides complete sample and process traceability, improved data integrity, and increased productivity.

  • Events:  Benchling Events is a new addition to our developer platform. This feature allows external services to subscribe to actions that are triggered in Benchling (e.g. plasmid registration and request submission) through the AWS EventBridge system. This new class of integrations reacts to actions in Benchling, and has become a necessity for many of our customers working with advanced R&D use cases.

In 2021, we plan to offer new APIs and events to give you even more options to automate and unify your data infrastructure.


Ensure compliance and collaboration from research to development

This past year has stressed the importance of teams working collaboratively together, in the lab, working remotely, and across sites. We released major features that improve collaboration between research and development teams and provide advanced controls for seamless user and data management in Benchling.

  • Validated Clou Benchling Validated Cloud makes it possible for research and development teams to work within the same informatics solution. Validated Cloud offers several features such as a dedicated tenant for validated applications, advanced application controls to ensure user compliance, and validation process support to make this possible. As a result, research teams can leverage Benchling’s widely adopted applications for molecular design, sample registration, and experimentation, while development teams can advance programs using the same solution but within a GxP-compliant environment.

  • Audit trail export options: The audit features on Benchling are critical for robust data management and regulatory compliance. Benchling already provides audit tracking throughout each application. In 2020, Benchling enhanced export capabilities for these audit logs. Users now have a variety of export options, which include exporting audit logs by projects, single users, multiple users, teams, and organizations.

Benchling will continue to invest in new capabilities that support collaboration across entire R&D organizations, with features such as task and process management, read-only Notebook templates, and collaboration functions.


Stay at the cutting edge of science

Adopting the latest science is an integral part of innovation at life science companies. In 2020, we added new product capabilities to help our customers advance their programs using the latest scientific techniques and methods.

  • Antibody property prediction tools:  This new capability automatically analyzes antibody chains to accurately identify amino acid residue positions, complementarity determining regions (CDRs), framework regions, and sequence liability sites. As a result, scientists can design antibodies with desired affinity and specificity characteristics.

  • Formulations and media support:  We introduced Mixtures as a new entity type for managing and tracking samples made up of two or more ingredients such as media, buffers, and formulations. We also released a mixture preparation table which lets you create formulations directly in Notebook entries. These updates, along with several others, help formulation teams with improved traceability and workflow execution.

This year, we will continue to build new scientific capabilities into our products, including support for RNA, peptides, antibody-drug conjugates, and small molecules.


Increase productivity with better usability

Benchling has always placed a heavy focus on usability. We work closely with our users and use their feedback to improve our products. In 2020, we shipped 100s of features that make Benchling faster and easier to use.

  • Updated worklists: Worklists help scientists using Benchling save time and effort when working with large sets of samples such as entities, batches, containers, and plates. Our most recent product releases enhance worklists with user interface updates, wider scanning capabilities, and deeper integration across Benchling applications. These updates allow users to use worklists more effortlessly in the context of their experiments and lab operations to save time and boost productivity.

  • Improved Notebook tables: Structured tables in the Notebook capture data in a standardized manner. Increased use of these tables leads to better data entry compliance and data completeness, which means less repeated work and fewer redundant experiments. In the past year, we made significant updates to our transfer tables and plate creation tables and added ‘box creation tables’ as a new table type. All of these features are designed to help create and manage samples more seamlessly in the context of your experiment, saving users unnecessary clicks and boosting overall experimental throughput and productivity.

In 2021, we will continue to build and ship features that make Benchling even more user friendly and intuitive to use, so that you can focus on your science and maximize productivity.


Looking ahead

We believe in working in close partnership with our customers and release on average over 100 product features per quarter to make Benchling more useful and relevant. We continue to grow our product development teams to deliver on our mission.

We look forward to 2021 and plan to release even more features that will help accelerate your R&D. Be on the lookout for more exciting product news regarding mixtures and Validated Cloud this month.

To learn more about all our product releases visit our help center.

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