Tracking lineage of biological entities, sample derivation, and structured data within a new biologics registration software platform

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Ryan Luce, Ph.D. [1]; Kevin Krouse [1]; Josh Date [1]; Nick Arnold [1]; Chris Joosse [1]; Jessi Murray [1]; Frank Lee [1]; Randal R. Ketchem, Ph.D. [2]; J. Alex Taylor, Ph.D. [2]; Russell E. Williams [2]

[1] LabKey, 617 Eastlake Ave. E #400, Seattle, WA 98109 USA; [2] Just Biotherapeutics, 401 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 USA


In late 2015, LabKey began a collaboration with Just Biotherapeutics to create a tool focused on the data management needs of biologics research by leveraging and extending LabKey’s existing open source biomedical data management platform, LabKey Server.

To support the needs of large molecule development, mechanisms were developed for tracking design lineage, sample derivation, and structured data related to proteins and a powerful querying engine was built that allows any sample, regardless of how many sample derivations it may have undergone, to be quickly connected back to related entities. In March 2017, LabKey released LabKey Biologics as standalone application.


Traditional methods of data capture lack the structure, relationships, and queryability scientists need to effectively explore their data.


  1. Capture structured information about biological entities (sequences, cell lines, expression systems, etc.) and their relationships with one another that ensures uniqueness and allows for querying of experimental data.
  2. Easy capture of sample lineage as well as entity design lineage, allowing for the connection of assay data to related biological entities and media recipes / batches.
  3. Creation of performant queries that track lineage or other sample information, allowing the joining of assay data based on sample lineage and the viewing of multiple assay types simultaneously.

LabKey and Just Biotherapeutics Collaboration

Founded in 2003, LabKey is a software and professional services provider that specializes in helping organizations overcome the unique data management, collaboration, and workflow challenges faced in the scientific research environment.

Just Biotherapeutics (founded in 2014) is led by an experienced team in the fields of protein, process and manufacturing sciences. The Just team came together to solve the scientific and technical hurdles that block access to life changing protein therapeutics; from the design of therapeutic molecules to the design of the manufacturing plants used to produce them.

LabKey and Just signed a multi-year agreement in 2015 to develop LabKey Biologics, a product built on the foundation of LabKey Server, to help biotechnology R&D teams optimize the development process through structured data capture.