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European Bioinformatics Institute, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Megaware, Chenomx and GeneGo, Ariadne, Genomatix, SGI and Bio-IT Alliance, and Chr. Hansen and CLC Bio

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EBI Merges EMBL-Bank, UniProt, Ensembl Groups Under Apweiler and Birney
 
The European Bioinformatics Institute said last week that it has combined the sequence database development teams responsible for EMBL-Bank, UniProt, and the Ensembl genome browser into a single unit.
 
The sequence database group led by Rolf Apweiler, which is responsible for EMBL-Bank and UniProt, will be merged with Ewan Birney’s Ensembl group, EBI said. The combined group will be jointly led by Apweiler and Birney, with Apweiler responsible for proteins and functional information and Birney responsible for nucleotides.
 
Ensembl is a joint project between the EBI and Tim Hubbard’s group at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The reorganization only affects the EBI half of the collaboration, which will continue with “undiminished vigor,” EBI said.
 
“The new team structure reflects the need to integrate DNA data from an increasing diversity of high-throughput methods,” the institute said. “We were already sharing expertise and data structures, but the consolidation allows us to take this collaborative spirit a step further, which will ultimately lead to a unified user interface for all our completed-genome data,” Apweiler said in a statement.
 

 
Thermo Fisher Partners With Megaware to Deliver Bioequivalence Solution for Pharma and CROs
 
Thermo Fisher Scientific this week said that it has entered into a partnership with Megaware, a life science software developer, to deliver a bioanalysis/equivalence solution and joint support services for pharmaceutical, biotech, and contract research organizations.
 
Terms of the agreement state that Thermo Fisher and Megaware will market an end-to-end software solution that provides bioequivalence functionality on a single platform to speed and manage clinical trials.
 
The two companies will work together to target the market for bioanalysis/equivalence studies used in the manufacture of generic drugs, initially in India and thereafter across Asia and other markets. 
 
The market in India for clinical trials is growing rapidly, because the average cost of trials is significantly lower than in the United States and Europe, Thermo said, citing estimates from consultancy firm McKinsey that US and European pharmaceutical companies will spend US $1.5 billion per year on clinical trials in India by 2010.
 
The new solution will offer higher throughput, greater levels of compliance, and standardization of bioequivalence processes.
 

 
Chenomx and GeneGo Integrate Metabolomics Data
 
Chenomx, a provider of software and compound libraries for NMR-based metabolomics, and GeneGo, which offers data-analysis solutions for systems biology and pathway analysis, will merge their software products’ metabolomics data, the companies said this week.
 
This partnership combines Chenomx’s metabolomics software, Chenomx NMR Suite, with GeneGo’s MetaCore and MetaDrug Discovery platform, providing researchers with the ability to conduct pathway analysis and visualization.
 
Chenomx offers NMR spectroscopy, pharmaceutical sciences, and computer software. GeneGo’s MetaCore 4.3 assists pharmaceutical scientists in the areas of target selection and validation, as well as in the identification of biomarkers for disease states and toxicology.
 

 
Ariadne Opens European Sales and Support Office
 
Ariadne said this week that it has opened an office in Madrid, Spain, to manage its European sales and marketing efforts, and to provide training and technical support to its customers on the continent.
 
Olivier Brun, previously CEO of Integromics, will oversee the company’s European operations, Ariadne said.
 
Ariadne markets a number of software products, including Pathway Studio, which is used for analyzing pathways and molecular interaction data.
 

 
Genomatix Expands North American Operations
 
Genomatix Software of Munich, Germany,, which specializes in eukaryotic gene regulation analysis, said this week that it has expanded its operations into the North American market by forming a subsidiary in Ann Arbor, Mich.
 
The new company was officially incorporated May 14 and will provide sales, support, and marketing for Genomatix products throughout North America.
 
As BioInform reported in April, around 40 percent of Genomatix’s 30,000 customers are located in the US [BioInform 04-06-07].
 

 
SGI Joins Bio-IT Alliance
 
SGI said this week that it has joined the Microsoft-led Bio-IT Alliance, a group of organizations working toward realizing personalized medicine.
 
The Bio-IT Alliance is a consortium of pharmaceutical, biotech, hardware, and software companies that is exploring new ways to share complex biomedical data and collaborate among multi-disciplinary teams with the goal of speeding the pace of discovery in life sciences.
 
Other Bio-IT Alliance participants include Accelrys, Affymetrix, Agilent Technologies, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Applied Biosystems, the BioTeam, Digipede Technologies, Discovery Biosciences, Geospiza, Hewlett- Packard, Illumina, InterKnowlogy, Sun Microsystems, the Scripps Research Institute, and VizX Labs.
 

 
Chr. Hansen and CLC Bio Embark on $1.8M Project to ID Bacteria Genes
 
CLC Bio said this week that it has teamed with Chr. Hansen, a developer of natural ingredients, and Roskilde University to better understand the genetic make-up of bacteria and determine whether this knowledge can be used to improve probiotic food products.
 
The project has a total budget of $1.8 million, of which half will be provided by the Danish Strategic Research Council, CLC said.
 
New bioinformatics solutions will make it possible to further understand why bacteria act as they do, and potentially uncover potential in lactic acid bacteria, the company said.
 
The results of the project could lead to improved probiotic food products such as fermented milk and dietary supplements for the global consumer.

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