LION bioscience and IBM alliance paves the way for faster drug discovery

Heidelberg 28 November 2001LION bioscience AG and IBM have signed a strategic alliance which promises sweeping changes in the way drug makers conduct research and develop new drug targets. Through the far-reaching agreement, IBM and LION will work together to tackle what many researchers say is an overwhelming problem: harnessing the avalanche of data pouring in from human genome studies so that it can be used for more effective and faster drug discovery and development.


The alliance merges industry-leading technologies for scientific data analysis, management and integration with a powerful information technology (IT) infrastructure and implementation services to offer a more comprehensive and co-ordinated approach to research and development. New solutions based on the combined technologies and services will make it easier for researchers to capture and utilise information from the widest range of data sources, and accelerate the development of new treatments for genetically-linked diseases.

The agreement is expected to set new standards for how enterprises analyse and manage diverse scientific and medical data, as well as significantly improve business management processes within the R&D community. Terms include:

  • IBM and LION to jointly market enterprise-wide drug discovery solutions, which will combine IBM and LION technologies to address R&D requirements for information and knowledge management.
  • Collaboration to combine LION's SRS integration platform with IBM's DiscoveryLink data integration software and services, creating the most versatile and powerful integration solution on the market. The new offering will be designed to integrate the broadest range of scientific data available today, irrespective of data sources or file formats.
  • Joint consulting and integration services for combined IBM/LION offerings, to deliver unprecedented end-to-end solutions for global pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers.
  • LION and IBM to showcase their combined technologies at LION's in-house drug discovery department in Heidelberg.
  • LION offerings to be made available on IBM's hardware platforms and integrated with IBM middleware, including WebSphere Internet infrastructure software and DiscoveryLink.

"IBM's alliance with LION will benefit researchers around the world by creating a rock-solid IT foundation for advanced research and development", stated Dr. Caroline Kovac, general manager, IBM Life Sciences. "The synergy between our technologies will put drug discovery on a faster track and give our mutual global customers unprecedented access to scientific data and advanced tools for knowledge management, data integration, and collaboration."

A key provision of the agreement will enable DiscoveryLink data integration software to be connected to SRS, which provides access to more than 450 public and private databases, including GenBank, MEDLINE, SwissProt, and others. Both complementary integration technologies make it possible to extract data from numerous sources with a single query. SRS and DiscoveryLink also apply a "federated data" approach, allowing data to remain in its original format and location, while queries are executed across those databases and results are returned in a single file.

"This strategic partnership couples IBM's unparalleled expertise in enterprise-wide IT-infrastructure and global marketing capabilities with LION's vast scientific expertise in developing enterprise-wide i-biology solutions for the life sciences", stated Dr. Friedrich von Bohlen, chief executive officer of LION bioscience. "Together, we will provide customers, as well as our internal drug discovery unit, with the ultimate IT-driven solution to improve performance of the entire R&D chain in the industry."

LION bioscience provides proven information and knowledge management solutions to significantly improve life science R&D performance and productivity. These solutions integrate all R&D disciplines, spanning from genetics to early and late discovery through clinical trials. LION applies these solutions for its internal drug discovery programme in the field of nuclear receptors with the goal to out-license specific databases, polymorphism marker panels, and validated targets and leads.

More news on LION bioscience's industrial partnerships is available in the VMW November 2000 articles:

Leslie Versweyveld

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