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Tripos to Buy Optive, NIH to Award $4M for Cheminformatics, Dynameomics Project, Nonlinear Dynamics, Accelrys

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Tripos to Buy Optive for $8M

Tripos last week said that it plans to acquire privately held discovery informatics firm Optive Research in a cash-and-stock transaction worth $8 million.

Tripos will issue 599,521 shares of its common stock and $4.75 million in cash to Optive’s shareholders. Tripos said that the cash portion will be funded through the issuance of $3.5 million of subordinated debt, 111,606 shares of common stock, and warrants to purchase 156,250 shares of common stock.

The acquisition is expected to close in January 2005.

Tripos expects the transaction to begin to contribute to operating income in 2005, and become accretive to net income beginning in 2006.

Tripos already distributes software developed by Optive founder Robert Pearlman, who spun the company out of the University of Texas at Austin in 2002. Tripos distributes five of more than 15 Optive products, including DiverseSolutions, StereoPlex, and Concord.

Following the close of the transaction, Pearlman will remain at the University of Texas, but will play “an active role” as a consultant and scientific advisor to Tripos, the company said. Bryan Koontz, CEO of Optive, will join Tripos’ Discovery Informatics executive team as vice president of corporate development.

Tripos said that it will bring on board “other key Optive Research employees” as part of its Discovery Informatics business.


NIH to Award $4M for Cheminformatics Centers

The National Institutes of Health has issued a request for applications for cheminformatics research centers under the NIH Roadmap’s Molecular Libraries and Imaging Initiative.

The RFA seeks proposals for Exploratory Centers for Cheminformatics Research, or ECCRs, which “should be viewed as a precursor to a Cheminformatics Research Center (CRC), which will be a full-scale research center for the development of computational algorithms, software tools, theoretical insights, and data-rich resources applicable to chemical diversity and high-throughput screening.”

The ECCR grants will provide “the means for developing the collaborations as well as the synergistic scientific approaches that will be required for a successful CRC grant application,” NIH said in the RFA.

The NIH intends to commit $4 million in 2005 to fund approximately 10 new grants in response to the RFA. Eligible organizations include domestic public or private institutions, units of state and local governments, and eligible agencies of the federal government.

Applications are due March 10, 2005.

Additional information on the RFA is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-05-012.html


‘Dynameomics’ Project Gets Supercomputer Time

The US Department of Energy has awarded a protein-folding project at the University of Washington 2 million processor-hours under its INCITE (Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment) initiative.

The award will support a project called “Molecular Dynameomics” at the university, which aims to create a repository of the molecular dynamics structures for protein folds, including the unfolding pathways.

The project was one of three that the DOE awarded under its INCITE program this year, which doled out a total of 6.5 million hours of supercomputing time. The other two awards were for combustion simulation and astrophysics research.

The researchers will have access to a 6,656-processor 7.3-teraflop IBM supercomputer at the DOE’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center.


Nonlinear Dynamics Opens Training Center

Nonlinear Dynamics last week launched a new training center at its headquarters in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

The center is equipped with classroom resources and hospitality facilities to accommodate multiple users on site, the company said. Nonlinear said it has expanded its existing training services “significantly” to offer training at the center, via the web, or on location.


Accelrys to Use Enexity Customer Support Tech

Accelrys has licensed Enexity’s SecureLink remote support technology, Enexity said last week.

According to Enexity, the system will allow Accelrys to offer customer service without the security issues associated with traditional remote access methodologies, such as dial-in modems and screen-sharing services.


LEO Pharma Licenses Partek AE Visualizer

Partek said last week that Denmark’s LEO Pharma has purchased its AE Visualizer software, an application designed for the Elsevier MDL Assay Explorer data management system.

LEO will use AE Visualizer in its drug discovery research, Partek said.

 

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