The Challenge

The healthcare industry quickly recognized the value proposition offered by Exosome Diagnostics: the ability to avoid biopsies by using biofluid diagnostics to detect molecular mutations in tumors based on RNA, DNA and proteins extracted from exosomes—cell-derived vesicles present in many body fluids including blood. As several large pharmaceutical companies indicated a desire to form a strategic partnership with Exosome, John Healy, the Vice President of Informatics, realized the time had arrived to increase the company’s technology capacity.

Explains Healy, “We were relying on a hosted private cloud IT environment that could not scale to handle the interactions we anticipated having with pharmaceutical firms through our Laboratory Information Management System, the primary application that drives our business and which requires heavy processing. We thus wanted to move our existing infrastructure to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud platform.”

The planned move to AWS also presented challenges for Healy and Vasisht Tadigotla, the Head of Informatics at Exosome. Internal resources to execute the migration and then maintain the new DevOps environment in AWS were limited. The cloud platform also needed to be provisioned to an office in the US as well as one in Germany, where end users relied on a Microsoft Windows, non-distributed LAN computing environment. This would make the transition to the public cloud more complicated.

“The key was to find a partner with an in- depth understanding of AWS and DevOps best practices,” Healy says. “We wanted to find a firm with which we could collaborate easily that also provided flexible AWS migration and DevOps services to meet our unique needs, which are likely to change over time as we grow.”

“Partnering with Mission and utilizing Amazon Web Service’s secure public cloud, provides a level of comfort to our pharmaceutical partners who want to ensure the files and data we collaborate on together are protected at all times. Shortly after Mission architected our AWS environment, we closed on three new partners and now have several more in our pipeline—Mission plays a key role in our company’s growth.”

John Healy
Vice President of Informatics

The Solution

Based on his past experiences, Tadigotla provided the answer to these challenges: “I had worked with Mission while at a previous company facing a similar set of challenges,” Tadigotla explains. “So I knew Mission could help us migrate to AWS and then make sure the environment operated optimally on a day-to-day basis.”

Exosome also looked at other partners who could deploy and manage AWS environments. But none of them received serious consideration after the initial meetings with Mission.

“The many real-world AWS solutions Mission has built in the past are very impressive, and then meeting the team in person convinced us of their technical prowess and responsiveness,” say Healy. “It has been a cooperative engagement from the outset—Mission does not try to dictate what we should do, yet they offer solid knowledge of the best practices to consider.”

During the AWS migration, Mission helped resolve the issues faced by the end users in Germany as they transitioned from the Windows LAN environment to the public cloud. Mission also configured a VPN that gives the end users fast and easy access to documents and files as they collaborate with end users in the US.

The cutover for the US end users went smoothly as Mission set up the Laboratory Information Management System, AWS Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), a QuickBooks server and Microsoft Office 365. Mission also configured OKTA, a cloud- based identity and access management solution that gives users quick access to all AWS systems.

“The AWS monitoring provided by Mission’s Managed AWS Cloud helps us know if a hard disc, for example, is filling up ahead of time, and then they make the necessary changes in advance so our work day does not get interrupted,” says Tadigotla. “This allows us to focus our time on strategic projects rather than provisioning and monitoring IT. Mission is a great partner to help us take the company forward.”

Results

The partnership with Mission to deploy and maintain the ASW environment generates several key benefits for Exosome.

  • Streamlines the launch of a new business model to enable online collaboration with pharmaceutical companies.
  • Provides controlled online content sharing (via box.com) where sensitive documents can be protected from access by unauthorized end users.
  • Ensures IT infrastructure operates reliably and optimally for end users in the US and in Germany.
  • Creates a scalable infrastructure that can expand quickly as business requirements change.
  • Generates alerts and provides support before compute resources experience performance issues so potential problems can be mitigated before end users are impacted.
  • Reduces cloud-computing costs by ensuring efficient usage of virtual server reserved instances—automatically turning them off when no longer needed.
About Exosome

Exosome Diagnostics, with offices in the US and Germany, develops and commercializes revolutionary, biofluid-based diagnostics to deliver personalized precision healthcare that improves lives. The company’s diagnostics harness the power of exosomes—important cell messengers carried within biofluids that contain RNA, DNA and proteins from their cell of origin. Chief Scientific Officer and Founding Scientist, Johan Skog, PhD, was the first to demonstrate that molecular mutations in a tumor could be detected in RNA extracted from exosomes and that this information could be used diagnostically.

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