Bundled biomarker deal

InforSense, Thermo OEM agreement may accelerate protein biomarker discovery.

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—InforSense, a provid­er of enterprise real-time analytics, has entered into a three-year OEM agreement with Thermo Electron Corp. under which InforSense will provide its KDE platform to Thermo for integration into the BioWorks package for proteomics data analysis.
"This is our first OEM deal for KDE, but it is clearly an important area that we want to pursue, and we have discussions start­ing with a number of other companies to integrate our product with theirs," reports Joe Donahue, chief business officer for InforSense.
BioWorks is a suite of layered software applications specifically designed to make protein identification easier, the companies report. The main engine of BioWorks is the SEQUEST protein identification algorithm that provides the ability to directly analyze proteins in mixtures.
InforSense KDE is designed to rapidly integrate and deliver virtually any data source, analytic software tool, service or application within a single informatics framework. Organizations can also mine their analytical processes to discover and deploy expertise and best practices.
The KDE workflow technology will enable users of Thermo's BioWorks product to, for example, bring in other types of data that can complement proteomic data, such as gene expression data, genetic information and detailed clinical information, Donahue says.
"You have all these algorithms being generated, but the challenge is how do you incorporate those easily and rapidly with respect to instrumentation?" adds David Hadfield, chief operations officer for InforSense. "With KDE's runtime engine, you could be quickly uploading data to a Web site, for example, and users could download that data and integrate the proteomics data with other types of data like biomarkers or protein databases, without having to reconfigure a whole software suite."
In something like translational medicine work, for instance, there is a need to integrate data of very large size in ways that 10 years ago researchers never would have con­sidered. Hardwiring software to do that in an instrument is one way to handle new types of data, Hadfield notes, "and it's what people have been doing and will continue to do, but it has proven not to be enough.
"Instrumentation companies like Thermo realize that their instruments cannot be islands unto themselves," Hadfield con­tinues. "They need to integrate with the rest of the world and the wider research universe if they are going to truly serve their cus­tomers' needs. With our toolkit in place, you can generate a workflow in hours and test it and publish it. Now, something that would have been in the hands of just two or three experts is available to a much wider audience and the ability of the data to be used effectively increases."
The data produced through KDE's workflow application can be output in any number of formats so that it can be taken to another sys­tem, Donahue and Hadfield note.
"It's not just a standalone envi­ronment. At the same time, if they already have the KDE envi­ronment, you'll have 100 percent seamless integration with other R&D process they have captured in KDE workflows," Donahue says. "This is the kind of thing that lets us go out to other companies in addition to Thermo and let them know they can really add value to their product with KDE and allow it to integrate with other applica­tions and content across R&D."

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