LION bioscience and Platform Computing launch initiative to support human genome research

Miami Beach 12 September 2000Platform Computing Corporation of San Jose, California, the global leader in distributed resource management (DRM) solutions, has launched a joint marketing initiative with LION bioscience of Heidelberg, Germany to help accelerate international research on the human genome. Platform's LSF for DRM will be incorporated into LION's powerful SRS data integration platform, enabling pharmaceutical, bioinformatic companies and research organisations worldwide to enhance their productivity as they manipulate computational data related to DNA sequencing and chromosome mapping, disease gene discovery and bio-informatics.


"Now that sequencing for the human genome is nearly complete, there will be a manifold increase in the amount of sequence analysis that has to happen", stated Phil Weaver, president and chief operating officer of Platform Computing Corporation. "In the race against time to discover the next new medicine and the next new gene, Platform Computing and LION bioscience are strengthening their commitment to the Human Genome Project by combining complementary technologies which help researchers solve real-world medical issues."

The Human Genome project, an initiative to collect and classify the more than 150.000 genes which make up the human species, is one of the most complex undertakings in the history of medical research. The use of powerful systems is a critical part of the research process, allowing scientists to store, retrieve, and analyse data in a timely, cost-effective manner.

Platform's LSF for DRM is the key enabling technology in some of the world's largest superclusters, where hundreds or thousands of distributed computers work in concert on some of the most advanced computing projects ever devised. LSF harnesses all distributed computing resources so that workload is handled faster, resulting in dramatic increases in productivity.

LION bioscience's SRS software provides fast access to diverse life science data, such as genetic, protein, cellular, molecular, and clinical material, for researchers and bio-informaticians. SRS integrates public and proprietary data through one interface, performs cross-database queries, and provides rapid string searches of large volumes of data.

"Research organisations are working tirelessly to find the genes, correlate them with diseases, and begin developing new drugs to combat these diseases", stated Christian Marcazzo, director of product marketing at LION bioscience. "But deciphering the human genome is only the very first step. The real challenge comes in the ability to analyse and mine the genome data, which is an enormous computational task. Our integrated software solutions enable scientists to easily scale their research efforts with the growing volumes of biological data. Through this partnership, we can ensure that bio-informatics groups can keep up with the vast amounts of data being made available through public and private initiatives."

The superclusters used by Platform Computing's human genome project partners, including Celera Genomics, the Sanger Center, and the Whitehead Institute, are Compaq AlphaServers running Tru64 UNIX and TruCluster software.

"High-end computing is the future of biology and medicine, and it will take increasingly powerful computers and software such as Platform's LSF technology and LION's SRS platform to meet the growing computational needs of the bioinformatics market", stated Ty Rabe, director of the High Performance Technical Computing Solutions group at Compaq Computer Corporation, Houston, Texas. "This important alliance will support scientists in gathering, storing, analysing, modelling and distributing critical information, driving new opportunities for today's medical research community."

"Bio-informatics is a highly complex field, and so a tool like LSF that makes distributed computing convenient and efficient is of fundamental importance", stated Victor Pollara, bio-informatics research scientist, Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Platform's LSF has allowed our scientists to partition huge tasks and huge data sets into manageable chunks and then distribute them across large clusters of Compaq Alphas. We are able to accomplish more research work in less time, which is a strategic advantage in our quest to examine the human genome. Experience has shown that the combination of LSF and Compaq Alphas is absolutely first class."

Established in 1992, Platform Computing Corporation is a strategic partner for Sun, IBM, Cisco, HP, SGI and Compaq to enable some of the world's most creative companies to achieve better results by enabling them to harness the untapped potential of their people, products and processes. Platform's software solutions, LSF and SiteAssure Suites give both engineering and Internet environments unprecedented control over their mission-critical hardware, software and network resources. With Platform solutions, its more than 1500 customers are able to bridge the worlds of networks, systems and applications, and realise higher availability and performance to achieve their business objectives.

Leslie Versweyveld

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