NEW YORK, May 3 – Moving forward on a promise to invest $100 million in genomics-directed technology, IBM’s life sciences unit announced Thursday a collaboration with NuTec Sciences and Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute to screen individual patients for specific tumor-associated genes.
The alliance will join NuTec’s supercluster of 1,250 IBM eServers with clinical services at Winship. Linking NuTec’s software and processors with Winship’s patients, the companies believe, will give doctors the ability to better tailor treatment regimens to specific cancers.
“The ability to quickly get complex target analyses for tens of thousands of genes, as well as clinical data, in the same timeframe that it takes to get CT scans today is a monumental step in personalized medicine for cancer,” Winship director Jonathan Simons said in a statement.
NuTec’s GenesysSi system is designed to utlilize gene search and analysis software on an IBM cluster with a processing capacity of 7.5 trillion calculations per second. The system runs IBM’s DB2 Universal Database, supported by 2.5 terabytes of memory, 50 terabytes of online disk storage and a high-bandwidth networking infrastucture. The Winship system will incorporate IBM Web application software to allow Winship physicians to access results.
The collaborative system is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2001, according to Winship. NuTec, of Atlanta plans to make the GenesysSi system available to hospitals nationwide on an annual subscription basis.