Blueprint to Accept Advertising to Raise Funds …
The Blueprint Initiative, which is in the midst of a funding crisis [BioInform 5-9-05], announced last week that it is implementing a for-fee service "allowing companies, government agencies, and other participants in the bioscience arena to advertise their sponsorship" of the Biomolecular Interaction Network Database via hyperlinked company logos featured within BIND records.
"Over the six years that we've developed and expanded BIND to the point where it has become the largest publicly available database of its kind, we've been fortunate to have significant support and 'buy-in' from the scientific community and our commercial partners," said Christopher Hogue, Blueprint's principal investigator, in a statement. "To publicly recognize this support, we decided to run the logos of our existing partners discretely in each BIND window, hyperlinked to their web sites. From here, it was only logical to see this as a good opportunity for companies and government agencies to directly communicate with their target audience: the BIND user community."
Blueprint acknowledged in the statement that direct sponsorship of a publicly available database "is novel in the bioscience community," but Eric Andrade, Blueprint's global managing director, noted that the ads will not be "invasive."
Users who want to view BIND records without the logos can access BIND through a personal portal called MyBIND, which is freely available.
… As it Releases BIND Data into Entrez
Gene, Small Molecules into PubChem
The Blueprint Initiative also announced last week that it has partnered with the National Center for Biotechnology Information to release an initial set of data from its BIND database into NCBI's Entrez Gene database.
Blueprint also submitted more than 1,000 small-molecule records to NCBI's PubChem database. "Chemoinformatic analysis of many of these molecules was previously unavailable to the public as they represent the latest findings in natural product research," Blueprint said in a statement.
Terms of the Entrez Gene agreement call for Blueprint to provide NCBI with a steady supply of BIND interaction data for insertion into Entrez Gene. In exchange, Entrez Gene records will provide researchers with links back to the appropriate data entry in BIND.
The interaction data in Entrez Gene links researchers with Entrez Gene, Entrez Protein, and PubMed records of biomolecular partners, as well as to records in the BIND repository.
An initial set of more than 10,000 BIND records, which provide information on more than 6,000 genes across more than 100 types of organisms, is currently available through Entrez Gene (see Downloads & Upgrades, this issue).
Daiichi Licenses Admensa from Inpharmatica,
Pays Services Milestone
Inpharmatica said last week that Daiichi Pharmaceutical has taken a multi-use license for its Admensa Interactive suite of predictive ADME models and compound-prioritization tools.
Daiichi has also made a "significant" success milestone payment to Inpharmatica following the identification of a novel drug target using Inpharmatica's Chematica services and virtual screening technology, Inpharmatica said.
Financial terms were not disclosed for either agreement.
Inpharmatica said that Daiichi is the first Japanese company to license Admensa Interactive, which was released in February. The only other licensee that the company has announced is Serono.
The agreement was negotiated in conjunction with PharmaDesign, Inpharmatica's sales and marketing partner in Japan.
HHS to Issue RFPs for Nationwide Health IT Infrastructure
The US Department of Health and Human Services last week announced the formation of a national collaboration and four requests for proposals toward the goal of providing Americans with electronic health records within 10 years.
"The national strategy for achieving interoperability of digital health information is for federal agencies — who pay for more than one-third of all health care in the country — to work with private-sector health care providers and employers in developing and adopting an architecture, standards and certification process," said Michael Leavitt, HHS secretary, in a statement.
To this end, HHS is creating a private-public collaboration called the American Health Information Community (AHIC), which will "provide input and recommendations to HHS on how to make health records digital and interoperable, and assure that the privacy and security of those records are protected."
HHS will solicit nominations for people to serve on the AHIC and Secretary Leavitt will appoint up to 17 commission members, as well as serve as chairperson. The AHIC will be chartered for two years, with the option to renew and duration of no more than five years. The department intends for the AHIC to be succeeded within five years by a private-sector health information community initiative.
HHS will also issue four RFPs that will create processes for setting data standards, certification, and architecture for an Internet-based nationwide health information exchange, as well as assess patient privacy and security policies. In total, HHS will spend $86.5 million on health IT in FY 2005, and President Bush has requested $125 million for health IT in FY 2006.
Further information on the initiative is available at www.hhs.gov/healthit.
Two of Gene Logic's Japanese Customers Renew Subscriptions
Two Japanese customers of GeneLogic have renewed their subscriptions to its BioExpress database, the company said last week.
The companies — Takeda Pharmaceutical and Daiichi Pharmaceutical — have been BioExpress subscribers for the last three years. Takeda is now signed on until the end of 2006 and purchased a perpetual license to the database as of the expiration date of the latest agreement. Daiichi signed up for several more years and will use the system primarily for drug discovery research, with an option to expand to other areas.
Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
Molecular Connections Provides Text-Mining Services to Altana
Molecular Connections will mine the scientific literature for the Altana Research Institute, the Bangalore, India-based text-mining company said yesterday.
Scientists from Molecular Connections will search thousands of articles and other public information on genes affecting a specific disease condition for ARI, which is based in Waltham, Mass., and prepare reports based on their findings.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Compugen Partners on Biomarker-Based Dx with Ortho-Clinical
Compugen and Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, a Johnson & Johnson company, will jointly develop diagnostic tests based on biomarkers discovered by Compugen.
Initially, Ortho-Clinical will have the option to select up to nine biomarkers that the partners will clinically validate. Following successful validation, Ortho-Clinical plans to develop the markers into diagnostic products.
In exchange for paying development milestones and revenue-based royalties, Ortho-Clinical will have worldwide rights to commercialize the tests. Compugen will also receive license fees for each commercialized biomarker.
Servier Licenses Ingenuity Pathway Analysis
French pharmaceutical firm Servier has licensed Ingenuity's Pathway Analysis product, Ingenuity said last week.
The license was taken by the Institut de Recherches Servier, a company research center based in Croissy-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris. The company plans to integrate the software into its genomics technology platform.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Cognia Wins $500K SBIR Grant to
Develop Data-Management System
Cognia said last week that it has won a $500,000 Small Business Innovation and Research Phase IIB grant from the National Science Foundation.
The grant will help pay for "enhancements" to the company's Cognia Molecular information-management system. The award will also help pay for the creation of a next-generation "universal adapter" to enable researchers to integrate content and tools with Cognia Molecular, Cognia said.
GSK Licenses NMR Processing Software from ACD/Labs
Advanced Chemistry Development (ACD/Labs) said last week that GlaxoSmithKline will deploy its NMR Prediction and Processing software modules across its worldwide discovery research centers.
Under the agreement, scientists at GSK research centers in Europe and the US will use ACD/Labs NMR Processors for processing and analysis, as well as the ACD/CNMR Predictor for calculating chemical shifts and coupling constants for 13C NMR spectra. ACD/2D NMR Manager will also be installed at various locations to provide specialists with 2D NMR verification capabilities, the company said.
ACD/Combi NMR will also be installed at GSK's Stevenage, UK, and Research Triangle Park, NC, sites.
Bayer CropScience Renews License to Genedata Software
Bayer CropScience has extended its license to Genedata software products for another three years, Genedata said last week.
Under the new agreement, Bayer CropScience, the agrochemical subsidiary of Bayer, has licensed the AgroLead edition of Genedata's Phylosopher as well as the company's Expressionist platform for use in research and development across the company.
Bayer helped develop Phylosopher, an automated high-throughput system to predict gene function and elucidate essential biochemical pathways from complete genomes, and first became a customer for the product in 1999.
Quest Makes Equity Investment in Correlogic
Quest Diagnostics has made an equity investment in Correlogic Systems, the companies said last week.
The companies declined to disclose the amount of funding.
Quest retains an option to commercialize specific Correlogic pattern recognition-based diagnostics for particular disease states, the companies said. Quest has also licensed Correlogic's OvaCheck for commercialization.