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Microsoft, SciTegic, InforSense, National Centers for Biomedical Computing, Jubilant, Cognia, Rosetta Biosoftware, GraphLogic, Eidogen, Sertanty, University of California, San Diego


Microsoft Antitrust Winnings to Fund Comp Bio Center at U of Minneapolis

The University of Minnesota said last week that it will fund a new Consortium for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology with $5 million from an April 2004 settlement agreement of an antitrust class action lawsuit against Microsoft.

The university was not a plaintiff in the case, which alleged that Microsoft violated Minnesota’s antitrust laws and overcharged consumers for its software. Members of the class action will receive $174.5 million in vouchers. The university will receive money in the form of $2.5 million in cash and $2.5 million in product vouchers.

The bioinformatics initiative will be funded with the settlement money and $5 million in matching funds from the university.

SciTegic, InforSense Launch Partner Programs

Last week, workflow informatics providers SciTegic and InforSense both launched partner programs to extend the number of applications that work with their platforms.

SciTegic, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accelrys, said that its strategic partner program is aimed at helping independent software vendors make their scientific applications available on Pipeline Pilot.

The company has so far enlisted five firms as members: Equbits, Molecular Networks, Virtual Chemistry, ChemNavigator, and Barnard Chemistry.

InforSense, meanwhile, launched its Open Workflow Partner Network with the goal of building “a network of partners spanning the full range of scientific tools (cheminformatics, bioinformatics and scientific analytics), database and data cartridge suppliers, data mining and visualization providers,” according to a company statement.

Partners in the InforSense program include Lion Bioscience, Daylight, and Elsevier MDL.

NIH to Fund Collaborations with NCBCs

The National Institutes of Health last week issued a funding program entitled “Collaborations with National Centers for Biomedical Computing.”

The program will fund projects from individual investigators or small groups to collaborate with the National Centers for Biomedical Computing that it funded last October [].

The size and duration of each award will vary. The total amount awarded and the number of awards will depend upon the quality, duration, and costs of the applications received.

The first round of applications are due May 17.

Additional information is available at

Fournier Pharma licenses Jubilant’s PathArt

Jubilant Biosys said that French pharmaceutical firm Fournier Pharma has licensed its PathArt database of manually curated pathways.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Unilever Licenses Cognia Molecular

Cognia said last week that Unilever has opted to use its Cognia Molecular data management system to capture, integrate, and manage, biological and chemical information for its drug-discovery programs.

Unilever’s target identification and validation team will use the system.

UK Microarray Center to Use Resolver

Rosetta Biosoftware said last week that the MRC Clinical Sciences Center and Imperial College London have jointly licensed the Rosetta Resolver gene expression analysis platform for use in the CSC/Imperial College Microarray Center.

The research institutes, both based in London, licensed the system with funding from the UK’s Medical Research Council and the British Heart Foundation.

VBI to Use GraphLogic Software

GraphLogic, a life science informatics startup based in Branford, Conn., has installed its BioGraphWeaver process- and data-management software at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, the company said last week.

VBI said that the company deployed twelve customized enterprise systems, including systems for 2D-gel electrophoresis/mass spectrometry, Affymetrix and custom in-house microarrays, DNA sequencing, and library screening, among others.

Eidogen and Sertanty Merge

Cheminformatics provider Sertanty and structural informatics company Eidogen — both privately held firms — said last week that they have merged to become Eidogen-Sertanty.

Steven Muskal, founder and CEO of Sertanty, is CEO of the new company, and Derek Debe, founder and CEO of Eidogen, has assumed the role of CSO.

Sertanty provides kinase family structure-activity databases and the Lucia cheminformatics platform, while Eidogen offers TIP (Target Informatics Platform), which manages target sequence and structure information, enables sequence-to-structure generation and systematic annotation of ligand binding sites, and establishes N-by-N correlations between targets at the levels of sequence, structure, binding site and receptor-ligand interaction.

Winter Corp. Seeks World’s Largest Databases

Winter Corp., a database consulting firm, has launched its 2005 TopTen program to identify the world’s largest and most heavily used databases.

Data collection for the Program runs until July 15, and Winter Corp. will announce the award recipients and research results on Sept. 8.

Any database with a minimum of 1 TB of data may be entered.

Further details are available at

UCSD Installs 2.6-Tflop Supercomputer for Biomedical Informatics

The University of California, San Diego, has installed a 2.6-teraflop, 210-node Dell PowerEdge Linux cluster to support bioengineering and computational biology research, the university said last week.

The system, “purchased from Dell for less than $180,000 per teraflop,” according to a UCSD statement, was purchased with support from the National Institutes of Health and the Whitaker Foundation.

Researchers at UCSD and collaborating institutions who are planning to use the cluster include: Mark Ellisman, a professor of neuroscience and bioengineering at UCSD; Jeff Hasty, assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering; Trey Ideker, assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering; Andrew McCammon, professor of theoretical chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Andrew McCulloch, vice chair of the Department of Bioengineering; Arthur Olson, a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.; Bernhard Palsson, a professor in the Department of Bioengineering; and Shankar Subramaniam, a professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.


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