Amgen Inc, an American multinational biopharmaceutical company, is the world's biggest independent biotechnology firm. The firm created a new online platform that aims to unveil usually hidden results in biomedicine such as failed efforts to confirm other groups' published papers.

Based in Thousand Oaks, California, the company hopes that the move will encourage other firms in the industry and even in the academe to shed light in their own replication attempts. This will contribute in the scientific community to help laboratories who are having trouble verifying results of studies.

The Preclinical Reproducibility and Robustness Channel, an online database of journals, is hosted by F1000Research and it's designed to replicate and test experiments which are found difficult by academic researchers. This will allow companies and academic researchers to share replications to others so it will prevent them from wasting time and effort on following up flawed findings.

When researchers verify others results, science advances faster especially that experts would not waste time pursuing false leads. Of course, all research studies are not considered final or concluded and they need further confirmations. Others, however, do not stand up to further study.

The idea of establishing an online source of failed researches by the biotech company emerged from a meeting on improving scientific integrity in 2015 during the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Amgen's research discovery leader, Alexander Sasha Kamb, discussed on how the company's scientists tried and failed to reproduce academic studies. The process also took so much time and effort in publishing the findings though traditional methods.

Bruce Alberts, a well-known biochemist, recommended using an open-source publishing platform wherein it would be easier to submit studies. The channel will publish both data and methods from replication attempts.

"I do think it's proper to show data and let people decide for themselves, and that's the plan here," Kamb said. He added that putting contradictory data in the platform will aid authors in clarifying discrepancies.

The channel will give credit to the efforts of researchers conducting confirmatory experiments and provide a place for original researchers of the specific study to discuss reasons for different outcomes. The problem regarding reproducible researches emerged in Amgen when its researchers made headlines in 2012 when they announced that they were not able to reproduce the findings of 47 out of 53 researchers on cancer.

"We believe that interested scientists can look at our methods and results and draw their own conclusions," Kamb added. Amgen researchers hope that the platform will draw attention from the scientific community to provide a way to hold collaborative works. They also hope other biomedical firms to follow suit. 

Photo: Joe Hall | Flickr 

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