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Viaken, InforMax Forge Alliance with Cellular Genomics to Host GenoMax Platform

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Cellular Genomics of Branford, Conn., has opted to use Viaken Systems’ hosting services to support the implementation of the GenoMax software it licensed from InforMax in the first quarter of the year.

Viaken and InforMax began partnering in February 2000 to incorporate GenoMax into Viaken’s VDS 4500-BG server architecture. Keith Elliston, CEO of Viaken, said the partnership with InforMax has been “tremendous” and the two companies have signed similar deals with several other companies, including Genzyme Molecular Oncology.

Ben Muskin, vice president of business development at Cellular Genomics, said the company considered a number of implementation options upon purchasing GenoMax. Rather than investing in the “significant capital expenditure” as well as manpower and time necessary to install a suitable enterprise server architecture in house, Muskin said Viaken “offers us a way to ramp up in a hurry.” He expects the system to be running at Cellular Genomics by August.

Muskin also cited the security of the Viaken system as well as the lower cost compared to an in-house installation as benefits. While not disclosing specific prices of the system, Elliston said a typical Viaken implementation is completed in a quarter of the time that it would take a customer to do it themselves, with a 30 percent discount in overall costs the first year of implementation and a 50 percent reduction in subsequent years.

Muskin noted that the three-year deal with Viaken marks the first time Cellular Genomics has turned to hosting as a means of supporting its bioinformatics infrastructure. The arrangement was a “wise way to allocate our resources so we could focus our research efforts on development,” he said. Elliston said Viaken’s partnership with InforMax has “kicked into high gear” as several additional customers are in the pipeline to have Viaken host the GenoMax software. He said the combination is attractive to mid-tier companies who want to use GenoMax but can’t afford to install a data center to support it.

Elliston said Viaken’s hosting services give even low-end PC users full functionality, and envisions a day when “you can run GenoMax on your handheld computer on the train.”

— BT

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