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Accelrys, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Genedata, Entelos, Electric Genetics, Definiens, Nonlinear Dynamics, InforSense, US Department of Homeland Security


Accelrys Lays off 50 San Diego Employees in Reorganization

Accelrys has laid off 50 of its San Diego-based employees in an effort to consolidate its product development efforts, according to company spokesman Jim Rivas.

Accelrys, which is scheduled to spin off from the drug discovery business of parent company Pharmacopeia at the end of the quarter, currently maintains R&D centers in Cambridge, UK, and Bangalore, India, in addition to San Diego.

The layoffs were necessary in order to centralize people working on the same product lines, Rivas said. In addition, he noted, “There was also a desire to get the distribution of expense in line with our revenue distribution, so what you’ll see moving forward is that probably about 50 percent of our staff will be based in the US, 30 percent will be based in Europe, and 20 percent will be based in India.”

The Bangalore R&D center currently employs around 50 people, and the company said previously that it plans to have more than 100 people working there by the end of the year.

Rivas did not provide a breakdown of what product lines were affected by the layoffs.

BMS Buys IBM Linux Cluster…

IBM said last week that Bristol-Myers Squibb has purchased a Linux cluster of 64 eServer 325 machines, running on AMD Opteron processors.

BMS said it plans to use the cluster to characterize molecular compounds.

…and Tests SAS Discovery Software

BMS has also begun a three-month pilot project to test three components of the SAS Scientific Discovery Solutions platform, SAS said last week.

BMS scientists will use the SAS Microarray Solution, SAS Proteomics Solution, and SAS Research Data Management modules. The proteomics solution is a new offering that SAS said “will be available in 2004.”

Schering Extends Collaboration with Genedata

Genedata said last week that Schering has extended the license for Expressionist, Genedata’s computational system for large-scale gene expression analysis.

Schering will implement Expressionist across several sites, Genedata said, and has also arranged for Genedata to provide consulting services to integrate the software into its research pipeline.

Schering began using Expressionist in 1999. Hans-Dieter Pohlenz, head of genomics and bioinformatics at Schering Research Center Europe, said the company has begun collaborations with Genedata in target identification, toxicology, and pharmacology.

“We are also joining forces to build a custom database system that will integrate our research results worldwide,” he said.

Entelos to Build Hematology Simulation Model for J&J

Entelos said last week that it will develop a hematology model for Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development (J&JPRD), and will also use the model to conduct an in silico research program to support clinical development and Phase IV clinical trial design.

Entelos will use its PhysioLab biological simulation technology to build the model in “a few months,” the company said.

J&JPRD is already working with Entelos on a PhysioLab-based model for type 2 diabetes.

Bayer Licenses E-Genetics’ Evoke Ontology

Electric Genetics said last week that Bayer Pharmaceuticals has licensed its eVoke gene expression ontology toolkit.

Bayer will use eVoke to link experimental data from several technology platforms utilizing standardized, MIAME-accepted expression ontology terms, Electric Genetics said.

Definiens in Microlaser Image Analysis Deal

Munich-based bioinformatics company Definiens has signed a partnership agreement with PALM Microlaser Technologies to develop and market an integrated high-content image analysis and laser microdissection system, Definiens said last week.

Definiens, which also develops 2D gel analysis software and text-mining tools, will integrate its Cellenger microlaser image analysis software with PALM’s Laser Pressure Catapulting technology, which can capture large cell areas, single cells, or sub-cellular particles out of tissue sections without any mechanical contact.

Cellenger was developed to automate the extraction of structures of interest in complex image data. The combined technologies “will allow the automatic extraction and detailed analysis of structures of interest, followed by immediate computer-controlled laser microdissection and laser catapulting to retrieve the material for subsequent analysis,” Definiens said.

Shimadzu Signs OEM Agreement with Nonlinear

Japan’s Shimadzu Corporation said last week that it has entered into a worldwide OEM distribution agreement with Nonlinear Dynamics.

Under the terms of the agreement, Shimadzu Biotech will distribute a dual-branded “Shimadzu Phoretix” version of Nonlinear’s Phoretix software for analyzing 2D and 1D electrophoresis gels.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Katsuhiko Ichimura, general manager of the Life Science Business Unit and Life Science Laboratory at Shimadzu, said the distribution agreement “will complement our existing products, such as the Xcise and the ChIP chemical inkjet printer,” and will “also enable further technological diversification over the coming months and years into other related markets.”

In December, Nonlinear signed a distribution agreement with Shimadzu Oceania, Shimadzu’s Australasian subsidiary [BioInform 12-22-03].

AstraZeneca to Extend InforSense Platform to New R&D Sites

InforSense said last week that AstraZeneca plans to expand its use of its Open Discovery Workflow informatics platform to create a “next-generation knowledge discovery environment” that will be based at AstraZeneca’s R&D site in Molndal, Sweden, and accessed by researchers at several AstraZeneca sites, including AstraZeneca R&D Sodertalje, Sweden; and AstraZeneca R&D Boston, Mass.

AstraZeneca has been using InforSense workflows at the Molndal site since 2001 in its cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, central nervous system, and pain control research. The new platform will enable more scientists at AstraZeneca to use the InforSense workflows, and will also extend into new applications areas, including decision analytics, ADME-Tox, and literature analysis/text mining.

DHS Sponsors Workshop on Bioinformatics for Homeland Defense

The US Department of Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency is sponsoring a one-day workshop in Washington, DC, on Feb. 3, 2004, entitled, “Bioinformatics and Assay Development for Homeland Defense.”

The workshop is expected to cover several areas of interest, including bioinformatic tools for assay development; assays for environmental monitoring and forensic analysis; nucleic acid and protein assays for human, plant and agricultural pathogens; and novel technologies to develop nucleic acid and protein assays.

The registration deadline is Jan. 26, 2004. Further information is available at

Filed under

The Scan

Single-Cell Sequencing Points to Embryo Mosaicism

Mosaicism may affect preimplantation genetic tests for aneuploidy, a single-cell sequencing-based analysis of almost three dozen embryos in PLOS Genetics finds.

Rett Syndrome Mouse Model Study Points to RNA Editing Possibilities

Investigators targeted MECP2 in mutant mouse models of Rett syndrome, showing in PNAS that they could restore its expression and dial down symptoms.

Investigators Find Shared, Distinct Genetic Contributors to Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma

An association study in JAMA Network Open uncovers risk variants within and beyond the human leukocyte antigen locus.

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.