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Bii, Lucidyx team up
August 2005
by Jeffrey Bouley  | 


NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, EnglandóBiosystems Informatics Institute (Bii) recently announced an alliance with Cleveland, Ohio-based Lucidyx. Through this alliance, Bii will assist Lucidyx in the development of new bioinformatics tools that are intended to integrate data storage and Lucidyx's genomic search engine technology.
"These tools are critical as we attempt to better contextualize off-target drug effects and further understand the data flowing from proteomics and transcriptomics experiments across the industry," says Ian Humphrey-Smith, Bii's chief executive officer.
Initially, the collaboration will focus on the development of a product called Lucidyx Oracle Gateway, which will serve as a bridge between Oracle and the Lucidyx search engine. This will allow Oracle SQL queries to combine data from Oracle with data from Lucidyx Searcher as if all the data was stored in Oracle tables.
Having the integration take place at the SQL level will make it easier for users to write sophisticated queries that link their data in Oracle to genomic annotations accessed via Searcher.
The second product to be developed, Lucidyx Puma, will make accessing the Lucidyx search engine easier for programmers who use Java or Perl.
"In each case, the syntax has been designed to feel familiar to users, while delivering lightning fast, more complete, searches, and while running on a wide variety of low-cost platforms," says Manuel J. Glynias, president and CEO of Lucidyx.
Ease of use is critical because pharmaceutical and biotech companies are inundated with data and have a difficult task turning the mass of experimental and clinical data into usable information.
Bii is carrying out the alliance with Lucidyx in part through the new commercial trading arm of Bii, Turbinia Limited, which was formed a month before the announced alliance. Turbinia was formed to facilitate business development and marketing of software tools and fee-for-service offerings in bioinformatics and systems biology, specializing in data integration and focusing on monitoring, interpreting and predicting off-target drug effects.
"As the pharmaceutical industry is learning in the post-genomic era, drug effects monitored by transcriptomics and proteomics give non-concordant and inconclusive results," Humphrey-Smith notes. "Making sense of these multiple outcomes with respect to target and target pathways is both non-trivial and non-intuitive, even for the best informed biochemists and genomics scientists. Thus, we must depend increasingly upon advanced mathematical approaches to better integrate these findings into drug development."
Code: E080508



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