ST. JOSEPH, Mich.—Sometimeshaving the right friends in the right places makes all the difference—as longas you have clean and well-ordered data. Such was the case for GVK Biosciences,which recently announced that it has completed a license deal for its medicinalchemistry database with leading systems biology software provider GeneGo Inc.
The deal, which was struck relatively quickly, was set intomotion when Sreeni Devidas, GVK's vice president of business development,contacted long-time industry friend and colleague Julie Bryant, who holds thesame title at GeneGo.
"GVK approached us and it was initially based on a friendshipI've had with Sreeni going back a number of years," explains Bryant. "He hadjust recently joined GVK and it was through that relationship that we beganlooking at their data. A specific database that we were interested in had amuch higher quality than other databases we have ever looked at."
In fact, the license deal with GVK marks the first timeGeneGo has ever accepted third-party data, but that is not an indication thatthe company has changed its approach to how it makes new data available to itscustomers.
"Like the pharma companies who are our customers, we have tomake build-versus-buy decisions," says Bryant. "But we haven't seen data, untilnow, that was able to meet our standards for quality. So that's says a lotabout GVK."
For GVK, the decision to license its data to GeneGo wasconsistent with its business of finding any potential channel. One of thelargest CROs in India,with more than 1,300 employees spread among three different locations, thecompany already counts 15 of the top 20 pharma companies as customers for itsdata.
"We only provide the database to our customers and it is upto them to use it the way they want," says Devidas. "With GeneGo, it is anindirect use of the data, but they are also the most advanced in terms of usingthe data in MetaCore and MetaDrug applications and it will help add anotherlayer of predictive modeling to those applications."
The medicinal chemistry database licensed to GeneGocurrently comprises more than 800,000 small molecule inhibitors and has associated3 million SAR information, which has been extracted from more than 42,000medicinal chemistry journal articles.
While the data is the highest-quality GeneGo has seen todate from a third party, it won't simply be a matter of plug-and-play, Bryant notes."While we examined the data and found it to be acceptable, we will still put itthrough our internal manual curation in order to put it into our database," shesays. "It is not going to be an immediate release, but we anticipate that wewill release the entire data in our MetaCore and MetaDrug discovery platform inSeptember."