Frequently Asked Questions

About Climb

What is Climb?

Climb is a cloud-based collaboration LIMS for in vivo study operations and data management. Its ease of use and configurability makes it ideal for in vivo study management for Biotechs, Pharma, Contract Research Organizations, and Academia.

Our comprehensive Climb 2.0 software solution manages, tracks, and logs all aspects of  in vivoresearch, aggregating and harmonizing data for on-demand access. 

Does Climb include cage cards? Can I customize them?

We have a wide array of cage cards to choose from including Animal, Mating, Wean, and Study.

Don’t see what you need? Contact Us and we can customize ones for you! 

Does Climb create reports?

Climb can produce multiple reports, including IACUC Protocols, Tasks, Studies, and Animals. We can also develop custom reports if you don’t see what you need in your reports facet. 

Can someone change my data after I’ve already entered it?

There is role-based access to grant read/write privileges to users.

Administrators can lock studies and data to prevent changes. All data transactions on unlocked data have a full audit trail associated with them.

What kind of in vivo animals can Climb be used for?

As a species-agnostic application, Climb can accommodate all mammalian in vivo models from rodents to non-human primates.

Is Climb GLP compliant?

We are actively working with leading experts in the field and planning to meet GLP standards in 2022. Want to be updated on our progress?  Sign up for our email list!

Is there a limit to how much data Climb can hold?

For all practical purposes, there is no limit to how much data our Climb 2.0 software can hold. 

Climb is completely scalable and can easily grow with your company. We have customers ranging in size from start-ups to tier 1 pharmaceutical companies and CROs. 

I want a feature that Climb doesn’t have yet. Can you make it custom for me?

Our partner organizations can help guide what goes into our roadmap. Contact us to schedule a Needs Analysis call and we will work with you to determine scope, feasibility, and budget.

Who uses Climb?

Our customers include Biotechnology Companies, Pharmaceutical Companies, Contract Research Organizations, Non-profits, Academia and Government. 

Check out our Testimonials page to hear directly from our customers!

Does Climb integrate with other ELNS or LIMs?

Yes, Climb can integrate with other ELNS or LIMS via API.

Climb features out-of-the-box integration with Dotmatics. 

Does Climb integrate with devices such as scales?

Yes, Climb integrates with Bluetooth and USB devices out-of-the-box.

Other devices such as a chem analyzers can integrate via API or .csv file uploads.

Want to check if your device will work with Climb? Contact Us

Can we use IOT devices with Climb?

Climb currently supports Elemental Machines IOT devices.

Pricing

How is Climb priced?

Climb is priced per user, invoiced yearly. Contact us for a quote. 

Are there discounts for start-ups and non-profits?

We may be able to offer discounted prices to non-profits and start-ups that do not have drugs in the clinic. Contact us for pricing information. 

What if I want some users to have read-only access? Are they still full-price?

Read-only user licenses are heavily discounted.

Support

Do you offer training to new users?

Here at RockStep, our entire team is committed to providing our customers with an excellent customer experience. We understand Climb is a sophisticated platform and have developed an on-boarding process to help new users get off to a great start. 

Onboarding consists of 12 hours of training split into 2-hour sessions and hypercare. We recommend scheduling your sessions either every day or every other day but we will work with your schedule.  Additional training can also be purchased if needed.

Click here for more information on the onboarding process.

How long does it usually take to onboard a lab with Climb?

An onboarding typically takes 12 hours, split across two weeks. The ideal training schedule consists of 2 hour sessions every other day. After onboarding is completed, we provide one week of hypercare.  For an overview of the onboarding process, check out this blog!

What is hypercare?

The week your lab goes live with Climb, we prioritize your questions to the top of our support queue for immediate response.

We also provide one “office hour” a day where anyone in your lab can ask us questions live.

I’m having a problem with Climb, who do I talk to for help?

The best way to get assistance with Climb is to click the support button at the bottom of the Climb screen and submit a ticket.

If you are having issues submitting a ticket, you may also email us at .

Support Hours: 8am to 8pm ET, Mon-Fri

We monitor our support channels after hours in case there are any critical issues. We will respond within 24 hours (but usually a lot quicker than that during weekdays!)

 

Data Safety and Security

Is Climb cloud-based?

Climb 2.0 is a native cloud application, hosted in the Microsoft Azure Cloud.  Azure provides the most comprehensive security compliance offerings, including certifications and attestations, of any cloud service provider.

Being cloud-based, Climb is secure and accessible through your browser anywhere, at any time.

How secure is my data in Climb?

We chose the Microsoft Azure cloud to host our Climb 2.0 software because we are dedicated to safeguarding all our customer’s sensitive data and Azure meets the very highest security standards in the industry. Azure provides multi-layered security across physical datacenters, infrastructure, and operations and invests over 1 billion dollars into security R&D each year. 

Storing your data in the cloud also allows for easy disaster recovery with 5-minute point-in-time increments over the previous 35 days. 

Read more about Microsoft Azure’s security features here.

How often is Climb updated?

Public updates are made to Climb about once each month.  You can choose if you want your lab to be on the public release schedule or have releases held until you are ready for them.

How reliable is Climb? What is the uptime?

Climb 2.0 is very reliable with a 99.9% uptime. 

Where are my data hosted?

That depends on where you are located. Azure has 58 data centers on 6 continents and your data will most likely be stored close to your location.  If the location of your data is important to your organization, we can develop a data location plan suitable for your needs. 

Drug Discovery

What is biomedical research?

Succinctly, biomedical research is a scientific discipline aimed at understanding the biological and genetic causes of human disease. The success of biomedical research requires multidisciplinary collaboration between several specialized areas including biology, chemistry, in vitro, in vivo, clinical, and engineering.

The ultimate goal of biomedical research is to learn how to prevent and treat diseases to improve the human condition. Drug discovery and development rely on biomedical research.  

What are examples of biomedical research?

Biomedical research is aimed at developing novel therapeutics for disease, including pharmaceuticals, devices, and techniques such as chemotherapy, hip replacement, and tumor resection respectively. The most well-known, recent example of biomedical research is the development of the COVID-19 vaccines. 

Development of these vaccines required concerted efforts across research disciplines to identify therapeutic targets and test the resulting treatments. Vaccine testing required extensive in vivo studies to delineate the most efficacious and safe compounds for use in humans. 

When vaccines were tested in humans, the compounds were deemed safe and effective, obtaining authorization for international implementation. COVID-19 vaccines are now a prophylactic measure reducing the likelihood of acquiring and transmitted the COVID-19 disease. 

What is in vivo testing?

In vivo translates to “in living”. In biomedical research, in vivo most often refers to assessing the safety and efficacy of therapeutic drug compounds or devices in a living animal model of disease and is considered “pre-clinical” research. Pre-clinical in vivo research most often begins in rodents, such as mice and rats, and progresses through higher order animals such as ungulates, dogs, and ultimately non-human primates. 

In vivo testing must adhere to strict guidelines regarding the care and safety of animals as set by the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (The Guide), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and The Animal Welfare Act, to name a few. If the tested therapeutic meets acceptance criteria, it is submitted to the FDA for testing in humans under the care of medical professionals in the clinic.  

What is in vitro testing?

In vitro translates to “in glass” and is considered part of pre-clinical research. In vitro testing is often performed on cells that are maintained, or cultured, in a petri dish, test tube, or well plate, and are thus often referred to as “cell culture”. The cells are either derived from living organisms or a cell line.

 In biomedical research, in vitro testing refers to assessing the safety and efficacy of a therapeutic drug compound at the cellular level. If results from in vitro testing meet acceptance criteria, the next step is to perform in vivo testing, as described above. 

What's the difference between in vitro and in vivo testing?

In vitro testing identifies therapeutic targets and evaluates therapeutic efficacy and safety in cells. For example, a new anticancer drug may be tested on tumor cells cultured in a petri dish to assess its ability to induce apoptosis in the cells, thereby killing the cancerIn vivo testing identifies therapeutic targets or evaluates therapeutic efficacy and safety in whole living organisms, such as plants or animals. 

For example, if our aforementioned anticancer drug proved effective in vitro, it would be tested in a mouse model of cancer to ensure it maintained efficacy and did not cause deleterious side effects. In vitro testing offers a cost effective, simple, and high throughput method to detect cell specific effects. 

In vivo testing captures the complex interactions between cells and biological systems that impact the performance of the tested therapeutic in a model that more closely represents the human condition. 

What is the role of animals in new drug discovery and research, and why is it important?

Animal research plays a vital role in our understanding of etiopathogenesis as well as therapeutic target identification, validation, and safety. Rodent models are especially critical to the drug discovery and research process, due to their fast rate of reproduction and ageing, they allow high-throughput screening. 

In addition, our deeper understanding of genetics has led to the establishment of rodent models that more accurately recapitulate human conditions, thereby increasing the in vivo testing benefits of translatability of this pre-clinical research to the human condition. As a result of this extensive research, therapeutics that make it to human clinical trials do so with higher efficacy, tolerability, and a lower adverse side effect profile. Taken together, researchers can reduce the pursuit of false leads and can more quickly determine if a therapeutic is effective. 

Why is animal testing necessary?

Animal research has provided myriad advances to our understanding of basic biology, etiopathology, and disease progression. Many of the treatments and vaccines that humans benefit from today would be impossible without animal research. 

Non-human animals have strong genetic, metabolic, and nervous system similarities with humans – known as conservation – and often naturally express human diseases, for example flu and several cancers. Animal research has offered critical insights into the understanding of basic biology, disease progression and treatment. In addition to its contribution to human health, many of these therapeutics are also used in veterinary care.  

What are the stages of drug discovery?

According to the FDA, the drug discovery process generally has 5 stages:

  1. Discovery and Development – Research for a new drug begins in the laboratory.
  2. Preclinical Research – Drugs undergo laboratory and animal testing to answer basic questions about safety.
  3. Clinical Research – Drugs are tested on people to make sure they are safe and effective.
  4. FDA Review – FDA review teams thoroughly examine all of the submitted data related to the drug or device and make a decision to approve or not to approve it.
  5. FDA Post-Market Safety Monitoring – FDA monitors all drug and device safety once products are available for use by the public.

The FDA has a great infographic detailing the different steps here.

Why are mice used for testing?

At first glance, it may seem strange to consider that research conducted using mice can be informatively applied to humans; however, mice and humans share considerable anatomy and physiology.

In addition, the genome between the two species is remarkably conserved, allowing complex genetic risk factors known to underlie human disease to be studied in mice. Furthermore, immunodeficient mice can be humanized, meaning a mouse can express a functioning human gene, cell, tissue, or organ allowing for a more accurate disease model. 

Logistically, mice are easily housed, and breed and age quickly. These characteristics allow high-throughput research and the ability to see the effects of ageing on disease etiology and progression, and therapeutic efficacy. 

What is LIMS?

LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) is a type of software designed to improve lab efficiency and productivity while managing and maintaining vast amounts of data. While all LIMS systems contain data management and workflow modules, there can be significant differences in functionality across different solution providers and laboratories. 

Over the past several years, LIMS Functionality has grown to include a wide range of features including data mining and analysis, assay management, electronic laboratory management, and equipment integration.  

How do LIMS work?

LIMS replace traditional, antiquated methods of laboratory and data management tools such as spreadsheets and physical notes with a comprehensive digitalized solution. Scientists, schedulers, technicians, and other team members can enter detailed, essential information relating to the samples and projects they’re working with.

Depending on the functionality of the LIMS, it can handle everything from aggregating and storing data for future access to sample, vivarium, and workflow management. LIMS are often cloud-based platforms, allowing for easy access, searchability, and audit support. By standardizing operations and maintaining workflows, LIMS improve efficiency and time to market. 

What are the advantages of LIMS software?

LIMS effectively manage the flow of samples and data, standardizing operations and improving lab efficiency, accuracy, and productivity. Some of the main benefits of LIMS software are:  

  • Enabling workflow automation, reducing human error 
  • Aggregating, harmonizing, and storing data for ease of access and searchability 
  • Supporting compliance efforts with chain of custody and audit support 
  • Standardizing workflows and vocabulary 
  • Integrating with instruments or other in-lab systems to improve lab efficiency 
  • Easy task management and resource scheduling 
  • Encouraging global real-time collaboration and decision-making 
  • Getting more science done! 

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