Lab7 Systems, Austin, Tex, has recently introduced the Lab7 Enterprise Sequencing Platform (ESP), a comprehensive sample-to-answer data management software system for next-generation sequencing (NGS) laboratories.


Chris Mueller, PhD

Targeting all of the major stakeholders in the genomic data management and analysis process, Lab7 ESP approaches the sequencing lab from an enterprise software perspective, combining all the functional elements of data workflow with a proprietary data resource manager. Using this underlying architecture, Lab7 ESP constitutes an integrated laboratory information management, analysis, and reporting platform. The system’s combined features reduce the lab’s staffing burden and enable complete data provenance with the full auditing capabilities required for clinical use, while easing the burden on bioinformaticians and IT to streamline and accelerate actionable results.

“This first full-production release of the Lab7 ESP culminates our vision of integrated management, analysis, and reporting of genomic data,” says Chris Mueller, PhD, president and CTO of Lab7 Systems. “A fully integrated platform with a strong data management architecture is what the industry needs to lower the barriers to entry and to make the processing of genomic data more efficient.

“Our ultimate goal with the Lab7 ESP has always been to break down the traditional barriers between scientists, lab personnel, bioinformaticians, and IT, and allow them to refocus their efforts back onto their primary goal—the advancement of science,” Mueller adds.

With increasing adoption resulting from the falling costs of genomic sequencing, the well-documented flood of genomic data is understood to be a major rate-limiting factor, working against both wider adoption of the technology and the acceleration of scientific discovery. Furthermore, the technology required to produce genomic sequencing data is now simple enough to be attractive for diagnostic applications in clinical operations that require extensive data provenance to meet regulatory standards.

In such a “big data environment” requiring auditable tracking, says Lab 7, only ESP is capable of integrating all the pieces required to make the management of genomic data accessible to a broader scientific and clinical community.

By using a common architecture to combine LIMS and informatics features, such as an advanced analysis pipeline manager and reporting framework, the Lab7 ESP makes it easy for NGS researchers to create and manage entire sequencing workflows. Key features include:

  • LIMS Lite: A tool for transparent, streamlined sample tracking and communication between lab technicians, managers, and scientists.
  • Analysis Pipeline Manager: Pipeline creation and management tools to seamlessly integrate with the user’s existing bioinformatics environment.
  • Reports and Visualizations: Using any data generated in the system or external data sources, tools to create custom reports to aid interpretation of results and to visualize results in genomic context.
  • Lab7 Resource Manager: Designed to run in research, production, and regulated environments, the heart of the ESP tracks the full provenance of sequencing data from sample submission to the instrument, to quality control and analytical results.
  • Platform Agnosticism: The ESP manages and analyzes data generated on any sequencing platform and deploys onto any computing infrastructure.

Lab7 ESP has been in early-access use in clinical, large academic, and large agribio environments. Interactions with such early advocates helped to shape the recently released version of the platform.

“The Lab7 team and our software platform have been a great resource for our users who have recently transitioned into NGS, as well as our experienced users who have been struggling with a disjointed set of informatics tools,” says Mueller. “By streamlining the process, we have managed an acceleration of discovery and an overall resource savings of over 70%.

“The truly novel component of our platform is the Lab7 Resource Manager—our data resource engine that underpins the system—which gives us the ability to track and manage all of the data associated with a genomic sequencing laboratory,” adds Mueller. “The deep data provenance maintained by the system makes our solution ideal for regulated environments, and enables 21 CFR Part 11 compliance for our users.”

Version 1.0 of the Lab7 ESP is now commercially available for deployment onto any computing infrastructure from workstations to clusters to the cloud. The company is also making a demonstration version available for trial to qualified interested parties. For more information, visit Lab7 Systems.