GlaxoSmithKline Reveals Ingenuity

FRAMINGHAM (09/22/2003) - In a further validation of Big Pharma's acceptance of systems biology, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has licensed part of the Ingenuity Systems' Pathways Knowledge Base to facilitate genome-wide computational analysis of biological systems underlying disease.

The Ingenuity Pathways Knowledge Base is a curated database of biological networks featuring millions of modeled relationships between genes, proteins, networks, tissues, drugs and diseases.

According to Frank Mara, Ingenuity's senior vice president of marketing, "GSK will be using the Ingenuity Knowledge Base to internally build systems biology applications. Every biotech group out there should pay attention when GSK licenses this thing."

Ingenuity, based in Mountain View, California, was founded in 1998. Until now, the company's best known partner was probably Millennium Pharmaceuticals, with which it struck a knowledge management collaboration that was instrumental in the development of Millennium's Pathway Resource and Information System (PARIS). "With Millennium, we did a multi-year collaboration with lots of technology, knowledge base license, and professional services," says Mara.

Big Pharma companies are often reticent when it comes to publicizing licensing deals, but Mara says that in this case, GSK is "really excited about what their bioinformatics group can do with our Knowledge Base. There are lots of sources of biological content out there, but nothing is of the breadth (genome-scale) and quality (human curated information) of our offering. Now, for the first time, bioinformatics groups can build systems biology solutions that really work."

Ingenuity says its Pathways Knowledge Base provides value throughout the drug discovery value chain, from target ID and validation, to toxicology, pharmacogenomics and biomarker identification, all helping to increase productivity and speed drugs to market.

Mara says a turnkey, Web-delivered Ingenuity Pathways Analysis application is in limited release and moving toward commercial release in the next few weeks.

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