Jack Elands, vice president of marketing at Guildford, UK-based ID Business Solutions, sees a gap in the genomics software market that he said his company is able to fill.
Theres lots of genomic software applications, but theyre very often related to sequences and array analysis. Theyre not related to the management of those results, said Elands. Thats an area where we are traditionally very strong.
IDBS got its start in the biopharmaceutical sector by addressing the data management requirements of biological assay design and analysis. The company then branched into chemical information management. Now, Elands said, Were moving into the world of genomics.
Most biopharmaceutial data management solutions are based on workflow or process, Elands said, which results in solutions that are specific to a particular company or workgroup. This can result in a problem if the workflow or research process changes, however, because the data management tools need to be redeveloped or adapted.
Elands said that because the data model that IDBS uses is independent of process or workflow, It is well suited to host genomics data without any dramatic change.
IDBS recently released DiscoveryChannel, a web-based querying and reporting suite of applications for data mining of chemical and biological information. It was designed to allow users to mine data without having expert knowledge of the data structure. We want to provide the power without the constraint of being an IT expert, Elands said.
Elands said that a number of IDBS customers are already applying the companys tools to genomic and proteomics data. These customers are demanding better integration between biological and chemical data, Elands said, because genomics data starts to make a lot more sense if you can link it to chemistry data. While the IDBS data model has always been able to work with genomic information, Elands conceded that, the user interface has had some limitations. He said that the recent upgrade of the companys ActivityBase suite has overcome some of these problems.
IDBS has over 150 biopharmaceutical customers, who include Amgen, AstraZeneca, Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline, Millennium, and Novartis.
DiscoveryChannel will be commercially available in October.