Pfizer expands Linguamatics deal

Chris Anderson
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CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Inc. has extended an existingsoftware use agreement with Lingumatics Inc., a leader in naturallanguage processing (NLP) for the life science market, to use thebiotech company's NLP-based knowledge discovery platform for textmining across Pfizer's research and development organization.

 "High-performance text mining is strategically important for anyglobal pharma company, and especially a market leader like Pfizer,"says Giles Day, senior director of Pfizer R&D Informatics. "Ourexpanded collaboration with Linguamatics underlines our commitment toexploit the value of intelligence from text within our R&Doperations."

Currently, Pfizer researchers use Lingumatics' I2E platform, aninteractive information extraction system, for focused knowledgediscovery from large document collections in a variety of R&Dapplications. According to the expanded agreement, Pfizer will use I2Eto discover and extract key facts and relationships from internal andexternal literature sources to support decision-making within its newBiotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center. Financial details of theagreement were not disclosed.

Linguamatics' I2E technology combines NLP, search engine capabilities,intuitive reporting and domain knowledge plug-in to enable users torapidly extract relevant facts and relationships from large documentcollections. I2E can be run interactively using ad hoc queriesdeveloped and refined on-the-fly by the user, with results returned inreal-time. Alternatively, validated queries that capture best practiceand favorite queries can be saved, shared and re-used. Queries can alsobe automated and pipelined by running in a batch mode.

I2E features a client-server architecture built using industry-standardJava and C for use by single users, project teams, or inenterprise-wide deployments.

Organizations have full control over source content to be mined, definition of queries and results output.
"The beauty of the system is the combination of flexibility, speed andscalability, unlike other text mining or information extractionsystems," says Phil Hastings, business development director atLinguamatics. Customers in the pharma sector report that I2E isproviding at least a 10 times speed-up in getting to relevantinformation, compared with conventional keyword search-basedapproaches, and is finding new knowledge not otherwise found."

"Working closely with companies such as Pfizer helps Linguamaticsensure we're deploying the right capabilities, and helps customers gainmaximum benefit from their Linguamatics deployment. These experiences,and the new questions and challenges faced, obviously also feed intofurther enhancement and innovation within the products and services weprovide to the industry as a whole."


Chris Anderson

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