Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Accelrys Expands its Reach with New Agilent Partnership, Expanded UD Deal

Premium

Accelrys has embarked on a strategy to aggressively pursue new partnerships in order to increase the visibility of its newly launched Discovery Studio platform, Scott Kahn, general manager and senior vice president of Accelrys Life Science, told BioInform last week.

As proof of that line of attack, the company announced a technology alliance with potential competitor Agilent Technologies last week. Under the terms of the agreement, Agilent will license Accelrys’ ActiveX Control 3D visualization software, which will be integrated into Agilent’s new Synapsia Informatics Workbench.

“In this world, everybody’s a collaborator and everybody could be a competitor,” said Kahn. While both companies are building horizontally integrated component-based informatics platforms for life science research with “some overlap” in their offerings, Kahn said the partnership was driven by customer demand for a seamlessly integrated path between the two solutions. Essentially, the companies determined that “it’s not a bad thing to have more than one choice,” especially in a time when companies are seeking productivity enhancements wherever they can get them.

ActiveX is the first Discovery Studio component to be included in Synapsia, but several more are planned, said Kahn.

In another move to expand the company’s reach, Accelrys is gearing up to launch a commercial version of its LigandFit virtual screening program to run on United Devices’ distributed MetaProcessor platform — “the first commercial application for grid computing in the space,” according to Kahn.

LigandFit will also replace the Think screensaver that powered the web-based cancer research project United Devices has sponsored since April 2001 in partnership with Intel and Oxford University. Think, while successful, was “basically a proof of concept,” said Kahn. LigandFit is more accurate and will be able to support the goals of the second phase of the project, which will prioritize the hits generated in phase one for their suitability as potential lead candidates.

Four “global pharmas” are currently beta-testing the distributed version of LigandFit, which Kahn says scales linearly — a network of PCs can run the program a factor of 100 to 1,000 times faster than a typical supercomputer. Kahn said that the licensing model for its distributed software “encourages large-scale usage,” with tiered pricing based on the number of computers running the program.

Kahn said he’s seen a drastic change in the acceptance of grid computing since partnering with UD: “A year ago no one was considering it, six months ago everybody thought it was novel, three months ago they were intrigued, now they think it’s practical and cost-effective.”

The biggest challenge to overcome, he said, was convincing customers that the MetaProcessor screensaver wouldn’t interfere with their critical desktop applications. Accelrys’ CHARMm molecular dynamics software is next in line for the distributed treatment, Kahn added.

— BT

Filed under

The Scan

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.

Sequencing Study Leads to Vaccine Target in Bacteria Behind Neonatal Meningitis

Researchers eBioMedicine track down potential vaccine targets with transposon sequencing on mutant bacteria causing neonatal meningitis in mouse models of the disease.

Multiple Myeloma Progression Influenced by Immune Microenvironment Expression

Researchers in NPJ Genomic Medicine compare RNA sequencing profiles of 102,207 individual cells in bone marrow samples from 18 individuals with rapid or non-progressing multiple myeloma.

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.