IBM and IDBS form chemoinformatics alliance

IBM has entered an alliance with ID Business Solutions (IDBS) to promote the UK company's chemical and biological data management...

IBM has entered an alliance with ID Business Solutions (IDBS) to promote the UK company's chemical and biological data management software.

IDBS has optimised its software to run on IBM hardware, IBM Life Sciences spokesman, Jonathan Batty, said.

The IDBS platform lets scientists capture, organise, integrate and analyse data from both biological and chemical research. Until now that integration of biological and chemical data has been difficult to manage.

"Traditionally the different data sources and types have been a problem. The pharmaceutical industry depends on getting drugs to market quickly and on collaboration between [scientists] but it has been dogged by data integration issues," Batty said.

The IBM-optimised version of the software was driven by customer requests, said IDBS vice-president of marketing and business services, Jack Elands.

"Some customers said they would be interested in bigger projects but were concerned about our size. They said if we partnered with someone like IBM then that would be good. And then Novartis, one of our major customers, was having new servers supplied by IBM and they asked us to make the software work with them. So it's been very customer-driven," he said.

The platform includes ActivityBase software for integrating biological and chemical data; Discovery Channel, a web-based data mining application and Discovery Warehouse for consolidating large volumes of data.

These all have been optimised for IBM eServer pSeries systems running AIX, IBM's version of the Unix operating system, with IBM DB2 database software, DiscoveryLink data integration software and WebSphere Internet infrastructure software, IBM said.

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