Case Study: SkinAxis LLC

SkinAxis is a biotech company that provides advanced testing technology for skin research. The company focuses on testing, measuring, and monitoring active ingredients for, among other things, antiaging, spot removal and hydration. Pathway analysis is essential to the services it provides to its customers in the cosmetics, biotech, pharmaceutical, chemical, and diagnostics industries.

Arevik Mosoian is a co-founder and serves as Chief Scientific Officer. She has a PhD in viral immunology.

Arevik says that a lot of customers rely on SkinAxis to determine activity profiles and pathways affected by their active ingredient. She adds: “Customers ask us to look for the several pathways that could be triggered by their compound. They are interested in the looking at the biological profiles of the compound and they ask us to use either 3-D tissue or the 2D culture. And when we were doing these experiments we have to analyze data. It does not just mean to look at which genes are upstream, which genes are downstream… We wanted to have the system that could suggest which pathway our [compound] triggers.”

Arevik is also impressed that Advaita uses the most advanced analysis algorithms – many proprietary – and already has very recent literature already incorporated. She says the fact that the company has developed advanced analysis algorithms for over 15 years adds to her confidence level and to the confidence of her customers.

Arevik says that Advaita is really good at helping customers understand the story behind their data. She says: “You are getting a load of information. We are looking for what customers are interested in. We are giving them access to the data and meanwhile we are putting the data in a light of their interest. And we are explaining that there are much more that they should be interested in. Yes, it tells a story but [it lets you] actually analyze and look from different points of view. Therefore, you can get different stories. It’s not single story, it’s like several stories. This is important.”

SkinAxis has been a customer of Advaita for over 4 years now. She became aware of it through a colleague who recommended it. She says that Advaita allows the organization to provide superior service to its customers. That was an important consideration for licensing it.

Arevik goes on to add that the product works well for SkinAxis and the customer support has also been outstanding. She adds: “Anytime we have any questions Advaita personnel get back quickly and always answers the questions that we have and always goes through the details of the software analysis. We are satisfied with the way we have collaborated with Advaita with the software to provide better service to our clients.” She adds: “It is not only us though, it is also how Advaita explains things to us and we take it to our clients. When there are any questions that we cannot answer or we cannot make a conclusion, we’ll go back to Advaita and they are always there to help assist us with our data.”

Asked if she would recommend Advaita to others, Arevik says: “I will recommend Advaita to people who do gene expression analysis and I would recommend it for the people who are looking to find out the biological profile of the drug or compound. I would recommend it because it gives a lot of information and it puts together a lot of different pathways and how they cross react with each other. For example, if you are neuroscientists or immunologist or something else, you don’t pay attention to other pathways that could be involved in some other areas. But you do with this iPathwayGuide. They put all these pathways together. It can actually trigger your thinking in different directions that you never thought about it before. When you look at cross connection of different pathways, it could make new opportunities for your drug discovery. I think it is essential to have this, yes.”