HEIDELBERG, Germany--Lion Bioscience has signed a licensing agreement allowing Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma to use Lion's bioinformatics platform, bioScout, to analyze sequence data and predict functions of target genes. As part of the agreement, Lion established a secure data line between its supercomputing facility here and Beohringer's research laboratories in Ingelheim, giving scientists there 24-hour confidential, exclusive access to data.
Georg Casari, Lion's vice-president of bioinformatics development and codeveloper of bioScout, said the system "is the most convenient and reliable solution for a pharmaceutical company that wants immediate and direct access to a high-end bioinformatics solution." He explained, "Boehringer does not need to invest in costly hardware installations but is guaranteed full confidentiality."
Lion said bioScout is designed to search 300 gigabytes of biological sequence information in its nonredundant database to come up with the most likely functions of unknown genes. DNA sequences are entered at Boehringer's research sites and results are fed back online.
Andreas Wieth, head of the genomics group at Boehringer Ingelheim Research in Biberbach said, "Our pharmaceutical R&D departments have many ongoing projects generating a plethora of gene sequence data." He added, "We needed a sophisticated bioinformatics system to assess these genes for their potential value in drug discovery and development."