United Devices and Optive Research transform in silico drug discovery research with Grid computing

Austin 04 August 2003United Devices, specialised in secure Grid solutions, has partnered with life sciences software company, Optive Research Inc., to develop software for computer-assisted drug discovery (CADD) specifically optimised for United Devices' Grid computing platform. The partnership will allow pharmaceutical companies to speed lead identification and lead optimisation phases of the drug discovery process and will result in the development of novel cheminformatic and molecular design software that was previously impossible or impractical.


"The most obvious benefit of supporting the United Devices Grid MP platform will be to give our customers the ability to obtain CADD results much faster than by simply using individual high-end servers or clusters", stated Bryan Koontz, vice president of marketing at Optive Research. "More importantly, however, Grid computing will enable Optive to develop software that gives life science researchers the ability to do things differently and more completely, reducing the traditional compromise between speed and scientific rigour."

Optive Research, which recently announced the corporation's launch, was created by respected scientist Professor Robert S. Pearlman to help researchers bring beneficial chemical compounds, primarily new drugs and agrochemicals, to market faster and at a lower cost. The company currently has over 15 software products, many of them being used to reduce discovery cycle times and improve the quality of lead compounds at every major pharmaceutical company in the world.

"Many pharmaceutical companies are starting to realise that Grid computing can be an important source of competitive advantage in drug research and development", stated United Devices' Director of Global Grid Services, Piush Patel. "Grid-enabling key discovery applications such as those in Optive's software portfolio are an important first step in increasing the speed and scope of molecular research."

United Devices' Grid MP Enterprise platform collectively harnesses the latent power of existing clusters, servers, desktops and workstations into a massive virtual cluster, enabling the acceleration and refinement of research and analysis projects. The platform is now available with Optive's DiverseSolutions software for chemical diversity and library design. It will also soon be available with the company's software for conformational searching and sampling, called Confort, as well as de novo molecular design, known as EA-Inventor.

United Devices' Grid MP platform is used to aggregate compute resources on a network to create an enterprise Grid capable of running a wide range of high-performance computing applications in life sciences, geosciences, manufacturing, financial services, chemical engineering and other industries. The company's solutions are available in both enterprise and on-demand deployments. United Devices also operates the world's largest Grid for grand-scale research that consists of more than 2 million devices in over 220 countries.

Optive Research develops, markets and supports scientific software solutions that help companies engaged in molecular discovery research bring beneficial chemical compounds to market faster, while reducing overall cost. Optive's novel software is designed for both computational chemists and experimental, "wet-lab" scientists, enabling them to reduce discovery cycle times and synthesise higher-quality lead compounds, thereby achieving more predictable discovery processes. Software developed by Optive Research is currently in use at every major pharmaceutical company and at hundreds of other research sites worldwide.

Leslie Versweyveld

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