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Data Warehousing Waban Gets Past Family History to Sell its Software

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For those of you who haven’t followed the history of Waban Software, small wonder.

It’s been quite a ride for the little data management firm: it arose in 1999 as PPGx, a joint venture between PPD and Axys Pharmaceuticals. Then in December 2000, DNA Sciences bought out the venture and brought it in-house. But a year ago, Himanshu Oberoi, who had been with the organization since its PPD days, finally spun the company out on its own once more, taking over as CEO, changing its name, and relocating from Morrisville, NC, to Cambridge, Mass.

“It was the smartest thing we did,” Oberoi says.

With software for LIMS and data warehousing, Waban lives in a cluttered market. Looking at the battered industry, though, Oberoi says optimistically, “This space is beginning to heat up.” The software — used partly for pharmacogenomics, partly for clinical trials — is 21 CFR 11 compliant, a big step for companies heading to the FDA. That’s “where we are ahead of most of the competition,” Oberoi says. “We’re providing the infrastructure that these companies will require to integrate genomics and clinical data.”

So far, customers include the likes of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pharmacia, and Metrigenix, which is an OEM customer packaging the software with its medium-density chips. And the best news for Oberoi: Waban has brought in enough revenue on its own to support itself. Looks like leaving home was a good decision.

— Markers by Meredith Salisbury

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