Powering a Life Science Lab in the Cloud

From the beginning, the founders of the biotechnology startup Emerald Therapeutics wanted to develop an ideal research platform that would allow for lab and process automation during experiments as well as easy communication of their findings.

Mathematica provides all the tools the Emerald founders needed to carry out their vision, while Wolfram Language powers Emerald Cloud Laboratory, a web-based life science lab.

Regarding the decision to use Mathematica, Emerald cofounder and co-CEO Brian Frezza says, “It struck the perfect balance of being powerful enough and versatile enough to allow our engineering team to develop sophisticated software within, yet the language is easy enough to learn that it’s accessible to our chemists and biologists to use as a primary means of keeping a daily lab notebook.”

Emerald’s team of scientists and engineers have a shared code base in Mathematica, which allows them to use one platform to carry out all the tasks in their antiviral research workflow—from developing functions to processing and storing data, designing and managing experiments, presenting findings, even controlling lab instruments.

Having Mathematica as the core platform means the Emerald team can trust the repeatability and accuracy of its results and rapidly grow its experiment base. “We can keep handling larger experiments and we can do more complicated things each day because we’re building on a base that is incredibly reliable and precise… You need that level of reproducibility in biology. You need something that can handle all the quantitative detail in a way that’s still accessible and manipulatable to the scientists.”

For Frezza, having one language that both the engineers and scientists can share and perfect is extremely valuable, especially for a startup in the pharmaceutical industry. “The way in which we’re able to build is just incredible. Our burn rate is incredibly low for a startup because the number of people we need to do what we’re doing, which is incredibly ambitious, it scales incredibly well when you have a tool like that.”