Benchling acquires Overwatch Research for in vivo studies

Leveraging part of the $300 million raised from two venture rounds in 2021, leading life science research and development company Benchling has taken over Northern Ireland-based Overwatch Research, a five-year-old software startup.

The startup’s impressive software, which aims to mitigate scientists’ mistakes in preclinical drug research, has recently led to several multimillion-pound export deals. Notable clients include Blueprint Medicines and the Institute of Cancer Research in London

“Our software addresses the key challenges contributing to the preclinical reproducibility crisis,” said Overwatch Research CEO and co-founder Dr. Chris Armstrong. “It helps biopharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations (CROs) reduce errors, increase confidence for first-in-human studies, and ultimately get drugs to patients faster.”

The added in vivo study capabilities for Benchling will strengthen its R&D cloud for biotech and accelerate the product-to-clinic timeline for customers. Benchling also hopes to expand its presence in European markets.

Scientists tend to use manual processes such as note keeping and calculating spreadsheets when recording and analyzing data from experiments. These methods cost research clinics an additional $10 billion to $50 billion a year because the work cannot be replicated. Benchling and Overwatch are trying to do away with paper research notebooks as well as hand-operated computer spreadsheets.

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