Physiome Sciences of Princeton, NJ, has launched the PACE (Physiome Academic Centers of Excellence) Program to make its biological simulation software freely available to academic collaborators.
Through the program, Physiome hopes to promote the use of biological simulations in medical research by giving academic researchers the opportunity to use its software to integrate gene, protein, and functional data and to simulate complex processes.
“A group that perhaps is not using software simulations to aid its research can now gain access to our technology to improve research productivity, plan protocols, do hypothesis generation, interpret the data from the wet lab, and begin the cycle of going from the computer to the wet lab and back to the computer,” said Tom Colatsky, chief scientific officer of Physiome.
Physiome is targeting academic centers working on the cutting edge of biological research in order to add the most value to its technology. These groups will help Physiome validate its software and determine possible areas of improvement for future upgrades.
“One of the things we’ll be looking for is some feedback on how well the software serves their needs, how well the models replicate their experimental design, and how well the results they get using the models fit onto the results from their wet lab studies,” Colatsky said.
PACE participants will have access to two primary pieces of Physiome’s In Silico Cell platform — the Pathway Editor, which allows users to organize protein-protein interaction data and create protein signaling maps, and the Cell Editor, which enables the construction of a computer-based cellular model.
Two academic centers have already signed PACE licenses and 10 more are due to be announced over the next few months. Colatsky said Physiome is looking to expand beyond this core group of 12 as rapidly as possible.
The licensing agreement gives participants free access to the software for non-commercial use. Colatsky said the agreement covers the academic right to publish while protecting Physiome’s proprietary technology.
The duration of licenses is negotiable. Those currently in discussion range from one to five years.
The technology provided to academic researchers will utilize the CellML format that Physiome developed in collaboration with the University of Auckland last year. CellML is an XML-based mark-up language designed to represent and exchange computer-based biological models and their components.
“I think that getting the software into the hands of as many people who are rigorously going to use it in their actual research is going to benefit everyone,” said Colatsky.