Public Access vs. Commercial Access
CDD has done some things a bit unusual for a commercial entity. We have focused initially on neglected infectious diseases that asymmetrically impact the poorest people in the world, and we have worked with a community of leading scientists to aggregate what we believe to be the most relevant information for drug discovery researchers in any therapeutic area.
We have found a way to balance providing access to this information to the maximum number of scientists while still having a significant commercial offering to support a long-term sustainable and growing business. To obtain this we have created an access policy that is quite black-and-white. For free read-only “public access”, anyone can self-register online to take advantage of a constantly growing body of public data in a constantly evolving and increasingly popular web application. Commercial access to combined private and public data—with full read, write, export and collaborative capabilities—is available via our standard software-as-a-service subscription.
To be clear:
- Free public access includes full online capabilities to the CDD application without export capabilities, without the private data archival, and without the advanced private-to-private collaborative capabilities.
- Full commercial access, in contrast, includes the ability to securely archive private data, to mine private data together with the growing body of public data, and to collaborate within or between groups. Within secure groups in the commercial application one can export the results from any query to Excel files or SD files. Commercial accounts can assign any of several security levels to each individual user as appropriate for each user’s needs for editing or viewing data.
Furthermore, to fully appreciate the benefits of CDD’s valuable product and services, researchers can obtain a free month’s access to the full commercial capabilities before buying. These policies are meant to maximize value to the research community and to make it a delightful experience for all involved.
Although the technology we’ve built is very powerful (with easy data upload, export, data mining and collaborative capabilities), we’ve placed an equal emphasis on usability and user interface design. While we believe CDD’s ease of use is second to none, there are always numerous ways to improve, and we welcome input and suggestions. We do not just throw the technology over the fence and hope everything goes well. Kellan Gregory and the Community Interests Group (what would traditionally be called support) pride themselves on superior support services, another reason why adoption of the CDD platform and services has been widespread.
As the community and customer base grows, we want people to appreciate that we are prioritizing thousands of requests from hundreds of customers. Although the core platform is provided as-is, it is constantly improving. As a service, our agile software development and global data and science teams can prioritize custom work on or outside the CDD application with (perhaps) surprising levels of both quality and speed. We are extraordinarily picky and hire only the best of the best possible staff. We thank the early adopters who believed in us and helped us build out the application and services to the current level; we look forward to even more scientists benefitting from CDD as word spreads.
Where are we going in the future: Upstream towards target validation and downstream towards drug development are the two obvious directions for extension. The CDD platform today is an excellent application to “archive, mine, and collaborate” around any data sets privately, securely with other data sets, and/or openly with public data sets. Even so, there will always be more we can do in our sweet spot of collaborative drug discovery. We are just starting to explore with librarians the ability to extend CDD to entirely different types of heterogeneous data. More immediately, we’ll have more exciting announcements with leading Foundations and Industry partners. Stay tuned.