Korilog Bioinformatics Solutions, a French software development and consulting company, is seeking to make its bread and butter by offering optimized sequence similarity search solutions to help public and private research laboratories integrate, manage, and analyze large next-generation sequence datasets.
The company, which set up shop in 2007, offers access to KLAST — a version of a sequence similarity tool dubbed PLAST that was developed by the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) — for comparing large sequence datasets to a reference. KLAST's developers claim that it is faster and just as sensitive as commonly used algorithms like BLAST, and, in fact, benchmark tests from Korilog that compared the performance of KLAST and BLAST on protein data from the black cottonwood plant, Populus trichocarpa, showed that KLAST processed data up to 25 times faster than BLAST and provided results that were just as accurate.
Korilog's KLAST is made up of an information processing engine that provides data integration and filtration capabilities for comparing and analyzing DNA, RNA, and protein data. Its features include the ability to compare two large datasets in a single run; and an integrated data filtering engine that selects relevant hits based on user-defined criteria such as coverage and alignment length.
In an interview with BioInform this week during the International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology, where Korilog showcased its software, CEO Patrick Durand said that the four-person firm developed KLAST in partnership with INRIA about three years ago and then began marketing it in January this year. Current customers include the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the University of Guelph, and the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea.
Users can license KLAST in one of three ways. Biologists with little computing experience can purchase ngKLAST, which combines the company's analysis capabilities with easy-to-use graphical interface and visualization tools that let users explore alignments, conserved regions, and more. Users can also make use of data from public resources such as UniProt as well as manage sequences, annotations, and biological classifications. Expert users, meanwhile, can take advantage of KlastRunner, a command-line version of the tool that provides the same capabilities as ngKLAST as well as the ability work directly with FASTA files, setup sequence similarity comparisons, annotate results with taxonomy, enzyme, and gene ontology classifications, and other features.
A third option is the KLAST plugin for KNIME, a version of Korilog's software that makes use of the KNIME workflow design interface developed by KNIME, a spinout of the University of Konstanz, Germany. This option lets users set up and run sequence comparison workflows using Korilog's engine within KNIME.
The company offers perpetual licenses with varying prices for academics and industry. A single-user perpetual license for ngKLAST is around $2,855 (€ 2,150) and $5,710 (€ 4,300) for academia and industry respectively. Pricing for a perpetual license for the KLAST Extension for KNIME starts at around $2,357 (€ 1.775) and $4,714 (€ 3.550) for academia and industry respectively. Korilog also offers volume discounts for labs that have many users, Durand said.
Customers can run KLAST on a standard desktop computer with at least eight gigabytes of random access memory and an Intel 64-bit quad-core system on Windows 7 as well as Linux or Mac operating systems, or they can deploy and run it on compute clusters.
Korilog said that its software can be used for any applications that require users to compare large quantities of sequences. These include applications such as metagenomic analysis; genome and proteome comparisons; microarray reannotations; and taxonomy and phylogenetic analyses.