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Fujitsu Biosciences, India s Institute of Bioinformatics, GeneGo, Genomatica, Public Library of Science, Japan s AIST

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Fujitsu Biosciences Licencses BioMedCAChe to GPC Biotech; New Version Due this Quarter

Fujitsu America’s BioSciences group last week said that it had signed a global licensing agreement for its BioMedCAChe suite of docking and molecular-modeling software with GPC Biotech.

GPC Biotech will implement the software in its Waltham, Mass.; and Martinsried/Munich, Germany, sites.

Michael McManus, vice president of the Fujitsu BioSciences group, did not provide the total number of researchers expected to use the software at GPC, but said that the desktop product will be used by the company’s medicinal chemists, rather than its computational chemists.

McManus said that he has witnessed a trend over the last two years in which “the computational groups are realizing that they don’t have the resources to really service all of the needs of the bench chemists.” Therefore, he said, they’re “starting to look for a reliable desktop software tool that can do a fair bit, but still has the ability to allow them to monitor or influence the content.”

McManus told BioInform that the company plans to release a new version of the software — expected some time in the first quarter — that will include more “high-performance” features for both the Windows and Mac platforms, and additional flexibility for modifications by computational chemistry groups.


Sun Gives Server to Institute of Bioinformatics

India’s Institute of Bioinformatics said last week that Sun Microsystems has awarded it a server under its Academic Excellence Grant program.

Details of the computing system were not provided.

The Bangalore-based institute hosts the Human Protein Reference Database, a catalog of human proteins.

The institute currently works with the John Hopkins University, the University of Michigan, the Human Proteome Organization, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.


GeneGo Licenses Software to TNO

GeneGo said last week that it has licensed its MetaCore data analysis software to TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research).

TNO’s nutritional division plans to use the software both internally and as part of a research consortium, NuGO, that involves 21 European universities.

This is the first non-pharmaceutical application of MetaCore, GeneGo said.


Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Takes License to Genomatica’s Modeling Tools

Genomatica said last week that Kyowa Hakko Kogyo’s biochemicals business unit has licensed its proprietary model of Escherichia coli and its SimPheny modeling and simulation platform.

Genomatica said it will also provide training for its modeling technology and R&D support for the construction and implementation of metabolic models of proprietary strains to Kyowa Hakko.

Kyowa Hakko will use the technology for its research on the biological production of fine chemicals used in pharmaceuticals, food and agricultural products, and industrial materials.


PLoS to Launch Comp Bio Journal

The Public Library of Science said last week that it plans to launch a new open-access journal, PLoS Computational Biology, in partnership with the International Society for Computational Biology.

PLoS Computational Biology will officially launch in June, at ISCB’s 13th Annual International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology, to be held in Detroit, Mich.

Phil Bourne of the University of San Diego Supercomputng Center is editor-in-chief of the journal. Editors are currently accepting submissions for computational biology research papers.

More details are available at http://www.ploscompbiol.org.


Japan’s AIST, Signs Bioinformatics Pact with U of Tokyo; Co-launches Startup

Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and the University of Tokyo said that they signed a cooperation agreement on Dec. 22 to carry out “various projects of bioinformatics and information technology by leveraging their R&D expertise and human resources.”

Additional details were not provided.

Separately, on Dec. 24, AIST announced that it will create an informatics infrastructure for gene expression profiling and metabolism pathway analysis for Aspergillus oryzae (koji mold) as part of a collaboration with Tohoku University and the Kanazawa Institute of Technology.

The organizations said they have launched a new company, called Firm Lab, that “aims to commercialize research results and launch a DNA microarray of Aspergillus oryzae.”

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