San Diego, CA - The research community has been seriously challenged in recent years with reports of a “Reproducibility Crisis” that has threatened the public’s confidence in published data coming out of peer reviewed journals. It was estimated in 2015 that the economic costs associated with irreproducible research are approximately $28B in the USA alone.
Further analysis has estimated that nearly one third of the total monetary loss (~$10B) is due to the research products that are used in the experiments. While many have pointed to a lack of traceability of the reagents as a major reason for their culpability, there is now a growing concern of counterfeit research products infiltrating the research marketplace.
“It is important to give the UUI its own platform to establish traceability and eliminate counterfeiting in life science research products. The implications of the UUI are much broader than the life science industry. The positive impact of establishing this system is immediate and far-reaching.”
Counterfeit drugs are estimated to generate $75B of revenue in 2010 and be the cause 1M deaths according to study by NCBI. More reports are coming in from around the world, especially China, where criminal organizations are reusing the tubes from reputable suppliers or printing counterfeit labels and distributing these fakes to labs around the world.
There has been a system developed by One World Lab (OWL) that if incorporated would allow for the tracking of research products at the tube level which would eliminate the ability of selling counterfeit products. OWL had created its own identification system used to track and manage the research products from over 40 manufacturers called the OWL ID. The OWL ID was a unique code generated on every label that was placed on each tube. The OWL ID encoded the identity of each manufacturer, lot #, catalog #, and creation date while also authenticating the end user.
After the acquisition of OWL by ProMab Biotechnologies (PMB) in late 2017, a company called Unit Scientific was formed to take the OWL ID and make it publically available as the Unique Unit Identifier (UUI). The UUI is dynamic in that it encodes for the end user and needs to be a human readable alphanumeric code.
The UUI would be adopted by suppliers that would be printed on the label of every tube and would be logged by the end user upon delivery. This confirmation by the end user would take the product out of circulation and create a direct link between them and the suppliers.
“It is important to give the UUI its own platform to establish traceability and eliminate counterfeiting in life science research products. The implications of the UUI are much broader than the life science industry. The positive impact of establishing this system is immediate and far-reaching,” states Mike Simson, CEO of One World Lab.
Mr. Simson has indicated that the final version of the UUI will probably incorporate blockchain. At the time of the release of this article the UUI is hosted at Unit Scientific (unitsci.com) as an example. It is currently not being used commercially. However, there are future plans to implement this system with a number of manufacturers.