New LSIT Global Institute establishes universally-accepted IT systems to speed medical products to patients worldwide

San Diego 07 May 2004Global CONNECT, in partnership with the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), introduces the newly formed Life Sciences-Information Technology (LSIT) Global Institute to the world on May 12, 2004 in La Jolla, California. The not-for-profit institute will develop trustworthy open source IT architectures and pursue IT solutions to benefit life sciences and health worldwide.


The institute was created to bring together the life sciences and information technology communities to create open source and globally accepted LSIT architectures that will enable Good Informatics Practices (GIP). Global adoption of these GIPs by the life sciences community and regulatory agencies will dramatically benefit the health of patients worldwide. It will enable medical product, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies to efficiently collect, process, and store scientific and medical data which would then be securely submitted electronically to the FDA and other federal agencies around the world, saving time and lives.

Global CONNECT has been incubating the institute since 2003 and forming its organisational development. "This is extremely important to improving human health", stated Greg Horowitt, executive director of Global CONNECT. "The LSIT Global Institute will develop trusted IT systems for the life sciences community in the same manner that Underwriter Laboratories (UL) developed trusted safety references and standards for the electrical industry. Having globally adopted LSIT trusted systems will mean faster delivery of medical therapies to the clinic at a fraction of the current $700 million drug-to-market cost", added Greg Horowitt. "San Diego is the perfect launch pad for the institute because of the world-class life sciences and IT infrastructure and the collaborative spirit present here."

Global CONNECT cultivates and maintains relationships with international regional development entities, technology and life sciences companies, universities, and research institutions that form the Global CONNECT network. This network offers San Diego companies and organizations partnering opportunities across national borders along with the tools and resources to accelerate the creation of local high technology and life science enterprises.

The LSIT Global Institute is building this international consortium of life science and health care companies, medical research institutions, IT industry experts, and regulatory bodies from all over the world to collaborate in the development of best practices in IT. All findings, products, and processes will be shared and published to the open source with full access by the health care, life sciences, and IT global communities.

The idea for the not-for-profit LSIT Global Institute was conceived by Howard Asher, group director of Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Global Life Sciences Division in San Diego. "The LSIT will provide and publish scientifically valid IT references to the worldwide open source that, once adopted, will permit the life and health science community to trust and deploy these IT tools to more rapidly develop medical therapies and diagnostics to improve global public health. Because the FDA and other federal agencies around the world will participate and review these scientifically valid IT references, they will be able to trust and accept results from these computational tools. Patients will ultimately benefit", stated Howard Asher.

One of the LSIT's main goals is to develop trusted IT tools to allow doctors and scientists to communicate more clearly. "With such huge genetic data collections, it was nearly impossible to put the information into a form that could be easily interpreted, utilized and shared", stated Mark Miller, a project integrator for Integrated Biosciences at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. "The LSIT programme will allow doctors, biologists and computational scientists to work together and create robust technologies. For the first time in human history we are now studying diseases at the cellular level. This means the possibilities of treating, curing and preventing disease are endless. It is truly a great time to be a computational biologist."

The following organisations are active members of the LSIT Global Institute: Cooley Godward, Gray Cary, Heller Ehrman, Novartis AG, Pfizer Inc., ProSanos Corporation, San Diego Supercomputer Center at UCSD, Selfhelpworks Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., The Burnham Institute, Townsend Inc., UCSD Global CONNECT, and UCSD School of Health Sciences. Organisations interested in participating in the LSIT Global Institute should contact Anette Asher for information on how to become a member.

Leslie Versweyveld

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