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Out in the open: DrugMatrix database goes online to enhance access by research community
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—In mid-August, Iconix Biosciences launched DrugMatrix Online 1.0, which provides access to a full-featured version of the company's flagship product, DrugMatrix. This release makes the DrugMatrix database content and customized tools more readily available to a much broader group of customers, including medium-sized pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
"Our basic rationale was to make it much more accessible to the research community," says Jim Neal, previously CEO of Iconix before its recent acquisition by Entelos and now chief business officer at Entelos. "Traditionally, we've done large deals with big pharma company like Lilly and BMS where the database is installed behind their firewall. An online version makes it easier for us to get it out to people because an ASP [application service provider] model is easier to do than to customize installations at every company that wants the database. It also has a lot of value for the customer who wants access to the data but doesn't have the multi millions of dollars it takes for a more traditional collaboration-licensing deal with us in the traditional model."
DrugMatrix will still be available as an installable resource at a client site, but one of the nice things about the new online version, Neal notes, is that companies pay on a per-user basis, to the tune of between $50,000 and $75,000 per year, per seat.
"Installed behind a firewall, you get unlimited use, but that's not necessarily what all companies need, and many of them cannot afford that," Neal says. "The online version allows a company to determine who needs access to the database and keep costs reasonable."
Researchers can access DrugMatrix Online from any location using only a personal computer running Windows and Internet Explorer. Online DrugMatrix allows licensed users to securely upload Affymetrix gene expression data from the Rat 230 2.0, RAE230A or RGU34A GeneChips and obtain Drug Signature similarity scoring as well as extensive comparative data from the world's largest collection of reference information on rats treated with over 500 reference drugs and toxicants.
DrugMatrix Online contains data from different tissues of rats treated with marketed drugs, withdrawn and failed compounds and biochemical and toxicological standards. In Release 1.0, 535 compounds have been profiled by microarray gene expression. Each of the 535 compounds profiled by microarray gene expression is also profiled in a suite of 127 pharmacological assays and is associated with detailed compound curation. Each of the microarray experiments in the database is a biological triplicate and is associated with clinical chemistry, hematology, and organ histopathology data of the treated animal. The assembled chemogenomic profiles on each benchmark molecule are made available in an integrated informatics system that allows candidate compounds to be compared, analyzed and prioritized using sophisticated bio- and chemoinformatics tools, including 135 manually curated DrugMatrix pathways.