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Dotmatics to Expand North American Operations


NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Privately-held UK-based informatics solutions provider Dotmatics is planning to expand its business in the North American market and has hired Rusty Irving to head its efforts on that front.

Irving joins from PerkinElmer, where he was vice president of global sales and ran the company's informatics sales activities in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific regions. Prior to that, he was VP of global sales at CambridgeSoft, and also VP of global accounts at Accelrys — now merged with Dassault Systèmes and renamed Biovia. In his new role as VP for Dotmatics' North American operations, Irving will oversee the expansion and running of commercial and customer-facing teams operating in the region. He'll be based in the company's offices in Woburn, Massachusetts.

His responsibilities will include managing pre-sale, sale, and post-sale activities and also working on special marketing programs that Dotmatics is preparing for North America, Richard Lingard, Dotmatics' global head of commercial operations, told BioInform this week. The company is also hiring application scientists, he said, who will be responsible for selling and installing Dotmatics' platforms at customer sites as well as providing follow-up support.

Dotmatics' platform provides a suite of informatics tools and applications for querying, managing, and visualizing data in the life science and chemical markets. Its solution is sold and used by clients in academia as well as the pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, oil and gas, and agrochemical industries.

Researchers at the University of Sussex, for example, are using its electronic laboratory notebook and other data management tools available on the Dotmatics platform to support projects within its translational drug discovery group. Also on the academic front, the University of Leeds is using the company's Vortex software to analyze and visualize drug discovery data. Customers on the commercial side include AstraZeneca, whose Neuroscience Innovative Medicines unit tapped Dotmatics' infrastructure to handle data in its drug discovery projects. Meanwhile, the Grumenthal Group, a German pharmaceutical company, licensed Dotmatics' Vortex to manage and analyze chemical and biological data from its projects.

Business is also booming in North America, Lingard said, and the company is seeing a "dramatic take-up in what we've got to offer" by big pharma companies and other organizations. That includes high demand for its data integration capabilities and its Vortex visualization tool, as well as interest in a free chemical drawing application it launched in the iTunes App store in 2012 called Elemental, a tool that lets users create and share chemical structures and reactions — so far it has been downloaded over 100,000 times.

"What we are … finding is that as [customers] are doing their technology refreshes, [they] are looking to fill the gaps in technology platforms and are looking to swap out legacy systems that are a bit disparate and not integrated" with a single platform that has all the capabilities they need, he said. That means that while Dotmatics has historically sold solutions to clients with no infrastructure in house at all, it is now starting to see business from customers on the lookout for replacement solutions.

The company is able to compete with firms like CambridgeSoft and PerkinElmer, who offer similar solutions to its own, Lingard said, because it has a short set-up time — a matter of weeks compared to months required by some other companies — and also because data visualization and management, chemical registration, data integration, and other tasks are all performed on a single platform. In addition, customers can access Dotmatics' solutions via the web, run it on cloud infrastructure, or host it locally, multiple options not offered by all providers, he said.

Dotmatics' target customer base remains primarily pharma and life sciences, but it is hoping to expand its footprint in other markets including the food and beverage and oil and gas industries, although it's not expecting to obtain as large a market share in these areas as it has in pharma and biotech, Lingard said. That's because in those other markets "the values are different that they place on products like this and the margins are different … so it's not a simple business translation," although the technology translates over easily, he said.