Increasing cancer research impact

Increasing cancer research impact
March 11, 2017 Karen Mecoles

A migration success story

Cancer research is vitally important at both a national and international level. Simply stated, improvements in research infrastructure and techniques translate directly to improving life expectancy and quality for millions of people.

Cancer Therapeutics Cooperative Research Centre – CTx is supported by the Australian Government CRC Programme that supports industry-led collaborations between industry, researchers and the community. CTx is focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer drugs for children and adults and provides a global research and development platform to facilitate access to class-leading analysis and advanced visualisation tools as well as access to 30TB of cancer research data – all facilitated via the NeCTAR Research Cloud.

Operating in a highly competitive and niche marketspace, CTx is an innovative virtual business that partners with 17 organisations including many of Australia’s top cancer research institutes and universities. “We rely strongly on the right infrastructure and technology partners for our continued business success.” said Dr Warwick Tong, Chief Executive at CTx.

CTx migrated its operations to a cloud-based solution in early 2016. Finalising Australia’s largest pre-clinical deal was the catalyst behind this critical migration. According to Mr Paul Reeve, previous Director of Operations and current Consultant to CTx “Selecting the right partner and the right solution without business interruption was mandatory. In a period of significant business transformation, we were looking for a partner that not only had the technical infrastructure and capabilities to meet our needs, but understood the challenges and nuances that come with being a virtual research business.”

In a period of significant business transformation, we were looking for a partner that not only had the technical infrastructure and capabilities to meet our needs, but understood the challenges and nuances that come with being a virtual research business.” Mr Paul Reeve

CTx evaluated a number of commercial and on-premise solutions, and NeCTAR quickly emerged as a preferred option. Specialised technologies and large volume datasets necessitated technical migration assistance. Paul commented “It was during the migration process that we saw the real benefit of partnering with NeCTAR. The level of technical support and advice was beyond expectation, and gave our senior stakeholders the level of assurance needed. The migration was a success story – the entire process occurred without incident and was seamless to our users.”

Responsive support from NeCTAR was a key migration advantage. “From the outset, the service, support and responsiveness that we received from the NeCTAR team has been first class, and feels like an extension to our own internal support services. This unity means that our users feel they have the best technology at their fingertips, and support from highly experienced people. And that, enables us to be more productive in our objective to uncover new cancer solutions.” says Paul.

“Support from highly experienced people…enables us to be more productive in our objective to uncover new cancer solutions.”

Ms Rebecca Moss, Manager – Research Technologies, added “We have been very impressed with the quality of service and the responsiveness from NeCTAR. The advice and expertise from staff has been invaluable during and post the migration of our data systems. The scalable and flexible environment of the NeCTAR research cloud removes the technological barriers that CTx previously faced, and allows us, and our participants, to focus on cancer research, knowing that the CTx data is in safe hands.”

As a national centre for collaboration, CTx enthusiastically supports national initiatives such as NeCTAR. CTx provides its 60 strong research collaborators with a suite of eResearch technologies and has been working with NeCTAR and other biotech partners to expand the use of these eResearch tools and management services to other research, academic and startups. This expansion will continue to support their preference for shared resources, built on a strong backbone such as NeCTAR. “We believe that this would make it not only cost effective for all, but will mean that savings can be redirected back into essential research programmes.” according to Paul.

These initiatives clearly demonstrate the quality and value of Australian research technology services and the potential for increased research impacts that can be derived from future investments in widening these services.

“CTx are pleased to be a part of the NeCTAR community, we strongly support the NeCTAR initiative and look forward to further opportunities to collaborate in the future.” says Rebecca. With clinical cancer research continuing to be vitally important at both a national and international level, improvements in research infrastructure and techniques will directly translate to improving life expectancy and quality for millions of people.

NeCTAR has been proud to partner with Cancer Therapeutics CRC throughout this migration to enable continued research collaboration and sustainability in the national and global arenas – and we look forward to sharing their continued success as their current exciting developments mature.

Want to learn more? Please visit https://www.cancercrc.com/

Article by Loretta Davis