Platform partners with Matrix Science to accelerate drug discovery for pharmaceutical companies

London 08 November 2002Matrix Science, a developer of bioinformatics products and services, has become a Platform Computing technology partner. Matrix Science has integrated Platform's flagship enterprise grid solution Platform LSF with its powerful search engine, Mascot. This technology partnership will accelerate drug discovery for pharmaceutical companies within the emerging life sciences sector of proteomics.

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As one of the newest areas of life sciences research, proteomics studies the entire protein make-up of a cell to determine which proteins are linked to certain diseases. Mascot uses data from mass spectrometry, a core technology of proteomics, which involves the analysis of large numbers of protein samples at high speed. Integration of Platform LSF, which intelligently manages workloads across distributed environments, with Mascot, enhances throughput and flexibility by scheduling search tasks according to Platform LSF policies.

Searching mass spectrometry data is computationally intensive, requiring complex statistical calculations to be performed rapidly while streaming through very large sequence databases. With the integration of Platform LSF and Mascot, search task priorities can be aligned with project priorities. Search tasks are launched following configured scheduling policies. For example, Platform LSF's fairshare policy ensures host allocation based on assigned shares for users and user groups.

"Platform has extensive experience in providing solutions to the life sciences community", stated John Cottrell, director of Matrix Science. "We believe the integration of Platform LSF and Mascot will enable pharmaceutical companies to use their computing resources more efficiently, removing bottlenecks in their proteomics work flow."

Yury Rozenman, director, life sciences business development, Platform, stated: "Matrix Science's work in proteomics is one of the newest and most fascinating areas within life sciences. We are very excited to be able to aid our joint customers in making life-saving discoveries. It clearly demonstrates the huge impact enterprise grid technology is having in the life sciences arena."

Platform has a strong heritage in the life sciences, with 10 years of experience delivering proven distributed and grid computing solutions to over 1500 customers worldwide. Platform solutions maximise the processing power and automate pipeline execution of compute-intensive environments at Fortune 500 pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, BASF, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celera, Cereon Genomics, Dow Chemicals, Dupont, European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), Glaxo SmithKline, Incyte Genomics, Merck, Monsanto, Pfizer, Pharmacia, Proctor & Gamble, and the Sanger Institute.

Mascot is a search engine that compares mass spectrometry data with protein and nucleic acid sequence databases for protein identification. It has become the de facto standard for both protein identification and characterisation, and is available for all popular computing platforms including Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP; Linux, both Intel and Alpha; Solaris; Compaq Tru64 Unix; SGI IRIX; and IBM AIX.


Leslie Versweyveld

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