Biotechnology companies that work with genomic data can reduce their risk and dramatically speed their time to market by separating bioinformatics processes from their business processes. Rather than spending nine to twelve long months building up their own department, cluster, software processes, and storage, companies are instead choosing Seven Bridges — meaning their bioinformatics solution is up and running faster than they can prepare their first sequencing library.

Molecular Tagging

Scientists at Becton Dickinson (BD) set out to remove one of the biggest pain points in modern RNA sequencing: understanding not just which transcripts are expressed, but accurately counting how many are expressed in a given cell.

While traditional RNA-Seq is often used for transcript quantification, the BD Molecular IndexingTM kit deploys a novel molecular tagging solution. This allows researchers to uniquely label each individual RNA molecule before amplification and sequencing, thus leading to highly accurate quantification results. The tags allow for deduplication after sequencing, meaning a biologist can accurately reconstruct the exact quantity of transcripts present in the original sample.

For BD, however, novel chemistry was just a start. They also needed custom, accurate, and easy-to-use bioinformatics software to interpret the meaning behind the tags.

Developing, Delivering, Updating, and Supporting Bioinformatic Tools

At first, BD delivered their custom tools via downloadable binaries. However, they discovered it was difficult to support and created a less-than-compelling customer experience. Through this method, users had trouble installing the tools, and running them on local machines was often a slow process. Furthermore, getting customers on the latest versions which provided critical bug fixes proved difficult, and supporting installations on a potpourri of systems around the world was expensive. After a comprehensive survey of the market, BD decided that the best way to serve their customers was to partner with Seven Bridges to deliver their bioinformatic tools at scale, via the cloud.

A Custom Cloud-Based Portal for BD Users

Seven bridges and BD collaborated to determine how to best deliver their custom tools.  Together, the teams determined that a custom portal for BD’s users would be optimal. Placing these workflows on the Seven Bridges Platform meant BD could focus on quality improvements, instantly update everyone to the latest version of their tools, and entirely remove their software support burden.

The Seven Bridges team started by working with BD’s existing tools. First, in the process of understanding how the tools operated, the team discovered not only their current function, but also made suggestions for how to improve their performance. Next, the team became an internal customer for our mature Software Development Kit (SDK) — based on the open-source Common Workflow Language — which allows anyone to easily port their tools and workflows onto the Seven Bridges Platform.Then, BD handed the project off to the Seven Bridges front- and back-end engineering team. Finally, the front-end team prepared a customized portal for BD users.This portal allows biologists to easily request access to the Seven Bridges Platform and load their data directly into a project populated with best-practice workflows.


Scientists are accelerating research and analysis projects by choosing Seven Bridges for their bioinformatics solutions. By partnering with the scientific and bioinformatic teams at  Seven Bridges team users are able to utilize advanced custom tools and workflows, so they can focus on the science at hand. Advanced bioinformatics workflows delivered on the cloud provide up-to-date analysis solutions at scale. Like BD, you can step up your research game with best-practice workflows, stellar user support, and expertise from the Seven Bridges Platform.