ASK (Anakinra Survival Kit)

30 January 2013

In 2010/2011, shortly after the merger of Swedish Orphan International with Biovitrum, I suddenly found myself tasked with managing a scientifically astonishing and extraordinary molecule: anakinra, a recombinant human interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (rHuIL-1ra) – a very peculiar, anti-cytochine, biological anti-inflammatory drug. Although at that time it was licensed only for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (after failure of methotrexate), anakinra already had developed a «life of its own» because of its striking efficacy in treating diseases related to interleukin-1 overproduction (mostly due to dysfunction of the inflammasome). In that period, it  was as well used as a diagnostic tool in desperate clinical cases: if the patient responded to a single injection of anakinra, then the diagnosis was to be looked for within IL-1 mediated periodic fever syndromes or similar.

Managing the available literature upon this drug (thousands of PDFs, ranging from pre-clinical studies via case reports reports to randomized clinical trials) was a highly demanding, surreally difficult undertaking. Consequently, given my passion for software development, I began building a database in MS EXCEL and MS ACCESS of the available literature, later made easily surfable  as a mini-web-site in HTML/javascript with intuitive menus. In addition, the system fed citation managers such as Mendeley, Endnote, Papership or Zotero by exporting files with standards .RIS or .BIB.

(pivot-table of entries/PDFs present in the database)

Very well-structured and easy to use, I toasted CDs that flew off with colleagues of the other affiliates of the company…


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