Research into secure, Grid-enabled IT infrastructure enables virtual drug discovery
Pharmaceutical companies are moving away from the fortress mentality, which has been prevalent for many years, towards an ecosystem of companies working together without geographical or technical boundaries.
InforSense Ltd., the leading provider of next generation business and scientific intelligence tools, has completed a pilot virtual outsourcing project with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), NEC, Inpharmatica (Galapagos), European Microbiology Laboratory (EMBL) and Université Libre de Bruxelles and Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI as part of SIMDAT. The project at GSK involved setting up a secure Grid-enabled environment to support the outsourcing of data analysis and annotation tasks to third parties.
Novel drug discovery leverages SIMDAT Grid technology
The central requirement for the SIMDAT project is to provide an environment that allows data exchange between companies in a controlled and secure way and makes use of Grid capabilities to facilitate data analysis and mining. To test these capabilities a demonstration system was developed at GSK for the analysis of biological data. The system, which is built using InforSense workflows, runs across a test-bed comprising five different remote sites and incorporates data services from two external companies. This demonstrates how a once fully internal system of analytical tools and databases for gene sequence analysis, annotation and "Drugability" can now be distributed across a number of organisations.
As a powerful tool for knowledge exchange SIMDAT technology broadens the scope of the drug discovery chain and is able to import the best of bread analysis from both academia and vendors at appropriate costs. It is an ideal showcase for potential providers who are interested in working with pharmaceutical partners in a more collaborative and benefi cial manner rather than purely in a simple vendor or consumer mechanism.
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