IBM and Accelrys become partners to shorten development cycles for new drugs

Armonk 07 January 2002IBM and Accelrys Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Pharmacopeia Inc., have signed a global strategic alliance to enhance drug research and development operations by creating a collaborative information technology environment for chemists and biologists to develop new drugs faster, more efficiently, and at lower costs. Through the agreement, Accelrys, an expert in software development for life sciences, will become a premier partner in IBM's PartnerWorld for Developers Programme, a status reserved for top-tier strategic alliance partners.

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IBM and Accelrys will team up, with each company contributing key technologies, to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and medical research centres improve their R&D operations and shorten the development cycle for new drugs. Under the terms of the four-year alliance, IBM becomes Accelrys' preferred information technology and services partner for life sciences. IBM's eServer systems will be Accelrys' server family of choice for life sciences applications.

Through its collaboration with IBM, Accelrys will accelerate the delivery of its Discovery Studio platform, which promises to be the industry's first technology platform to fully support the entire drug discovery process. Discovery Studio is a set of Accelrys technologies that will offer broad access to key life sciences applications, while enabling effective capture and reuse of critical scientific information and knowledge, whether generated by Accelrys' portfolio of software products, in-house or by third parties.

Accelrys will enable its software applications to run optimally on IBM eServer systems for UNIX, Windows NT and Linux. Accelrys applications, which support R&D processes ranging from early isolation of target genes and proteins associated with particular diseases, through synthesising chemical compounds which will work on these targets, to pre-clinical testing and drug delivery, are used by virtually every major pharmaceutical and most major biotechnology and chemical companies.

Accelrys becomes a premier member of IBM's PartnerWorld for Developers Programme which offers business partners a wide range of sales, education, training, and technical support programmes. This worldwide programme is designed to help software developers reach broader markets faster and lower their costs of doing business.

The company will use IBM eServer p690, code named "Regatta", systems running AIX, IBM eServer xSeries systems running Linux and Windows NT, and the IBM eServer Cluster 1300 Linux system for software development, testing and knowledge management applications. It will also combine IBM DiscoveryLink data integration technology with the new Discovery Studio platform. IBM and Accelrys will jointly market Discovery Studio offerings for IBM platforms and middleware. IBM and Accelrys will provide a range of joint consulting and implementation services for deploying solutions which combine mutual technologies.

According to the TOP500 Supercomputer list, IBM systems account for 160 of the world's 500 most powerful high-performance computers and half of the top 10 more powerful machines. The list was published in November 2001 by supercomputing experts Jack Dongarra from the University of Tennessee and Erich Strohmaier and Hans Meuer from the University of Mannheim in Germany.

"Life science IT solutions will have dramatic growth in the next several years", stated Dorman Followwill, Vice President, HealthCare, Frost & Sullivan. "This reflects the historic convergence of IT and biology, where the limits of biology now equal the limits of computing. It is difficult to overstate the future role of IT in modernising the drug discovery and development process through high-performance computing, services and software for translating reams of genomic and proteomic data into clinically useful information."

Accelrys is a provider of software for computation, simulation and the management and mining of scientific data used by biologists, chemists, and materials scientists for product design, drug discovery, and development. The company was launched in June 2001, combining the software companies Molecular Simulations Inc., Synopsys Scientific Systems, Oxford Molecular, GCG, and Synomics Ltd.


Leslie Versweyveld

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