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Numerate Adds Google to List of Cloud Providers for its Drug Design Platform

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Privately held Numerate has integrated its computational drug design platform with Google Compute Engine — a new service the search provider launched this week that is very similar to Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud.

Until now, Numerate's drug-design platform, which uses a series of proprietary machine-learning algorithms to produce predictive models for molecular properties of candidate compounds, had been only available on Amazon's infrastructure.

Numerate's algorithms will still run on Amazon, Nigel Duffy, Numerate's chief technology officer, told BioInform in an e-mail. The only difference is that customers now have their pick of cloud power.

"For us the key is that there is another really big player in the market ... [and] as users work to reduce lock-in and allow migration between providers it will create an opportunity for capabilities that provide an abstraction on top of these services," he said.

Furthermore, Duffy noted that Google Compute Engine "provides some different perspectives that will be appropriate for some use cases, [for example] integration with App Engine," which Google launched as an early alternative to the Amazon cloud in 2008.

San Bruno, Calif.-based Numerate, whose business model is based on forming risk-sharing partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and academic groups, has worked with Merck (BI 3/16/2012) and Boehringer Ingelheim (BI 12/9/2011).

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