Vita Nuova supplies Inferno Grid to Evotec OAI to speed drug discovery process

York 18 May 2004Vita Nuova has supplied its Inferno Grid technology to Evotec OAI AG, a partner for integrated high value-added drug discovery and development solutions to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Evotec OAI is using the Inferno Grid to further speed up the drug discovery process. Around 250 of the company's PCs are connected to the Grid so that their spare computing cycles can be put to profitable use. A further 150 computers will be added in the near future.

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Evotec OAI is currently using the Inferno Grid to screen in excess of 50.000 compounds a day in high quality virtual screening studies, using a combination of best-of-breed external and proprietary algorithms. "We are extremely happy with the Inferno Grid", stated Joe Mernagh, Chief Knowledge Officer of Evotec OAI. "We have experience of running other Grid software but the Inferno Grid is the best we have come across. It was very important to us that the Grid technology we use is reliable, easy to manage and responsive so that we can, in turn, be responsive to our customers' needs."

"Working with Evotec OAI has been an important collaboration for us", stated Michael Jeffrey CEO of Vita Nuova. "Evotec OAI are experienced Grid users and have helped drive the development of the Inferno Grid to meet the practical requirements of real users. We in turn have enabled Evotec OAI to achieve 90 percent utilization of the PCs connected to their Grid and driven down the cost of High Performance Computing for them."

Evotec OAI has established itself as the partner of choice for drug discovery and development solutions for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide, maintaining its leadership role through innovation and unmatched customer service. The company's business strategy is clearly focused on drug discovery. It has established the most comprehensive technology platform and skills that integrate its world-class biology and chemistry capabilities.

Evotec OAI leverages this discovery engine in providing assay development and screening through to compound optimisation and drug manufacturing services to a broad and well-established network of customers. In addition, the company engages in selected discovery programmes itself to develop drug candidates for early out-licensing. Evotec OAI's instrument and technology business is now successfully handled by its affiliate, Evotec Technologies.

With over 600 people in Hamburg, Germany and Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, Evotec OAI is dedicated to returning value to its shareholders and employees through a sustainable business strategy that balances short-term and long-term revenue opportunities.

Vita Nuova is targeting the bio-science and financial sectors for which the management of their computation resources is an important challenge. The Inferno Grid is also being used by other users to manage data resources and even instruments and devices. The Inferno system was originally created and developed at Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs within the Software Sciences Research Group; the same group that created the UNIX operating system and C programming language. The technology is now deployed and developed by Vita Nuova.

The operating system is highly portable running not just on top of existing operating systems but also on bare hardware. Inferno is uniquely effective for the construction of distributed systems involving heterogeneous collections of computers and environments. There is no need to replace the existing investment in hardware and operating systems.

Founded March 1st, 2000, Vita Nuova is a privately held company with headquarters in York, England. Vita Nuova specialises in advanced technologies, including Inferno, for distributed application development on network devices. More information on the company is available in the VMW June 2004 article University of York Department of Biology to install Vita Nuova's Inferno Grid


Leslie Versweyveld

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