Guiildford, U.K.-based software developer IDBS is probablybest known in the industry for its suite of drug discovery software productscalled ActivityBase. Widely used in the industry for roughly a decade, IDBSfounder Neil Kipling says that the product name itself is probably better knownthan the name the company that produces it. In recent years, IDBS has naturallymigrated to later stage activities, both with its E-WorkBook Suite of productsand with its recent collaboration with integration specialist In SilicoDisxcovery. Chief editor Chris Anderson recently chatted with Kipling aboutthat collaboration and his view of the industry.
DDN: Where do you see real growth in the next five years?
Kipling: One of the most interesting trends to us is all thework around biomarker identification, target identification and targetvalidation—all key parts to the translational medicine approach that isdeveloping in the industry. In order to be successful doing this it is vitallyimportant to be able to search, record and validate data from a whole varietyof data sources in a manner that is easy for scientists to use and understand.It is going to require a lot of cross referencing between genomics, proteomics,metabolomics, chemical, biological and clinical data all at the same time. Thisissue has been around for a long time and it is not until recently that therehave been many companies around who can address this problem properly. WhereIDBS can meet those needs is to provide software services to help companiescollect, search and consolidate data from these data sources. So as the marketintensifies its need to do more of this, with more data, it will become evenmore essential to the process.
DDN: Can you comment on the ongoing collaboration betweenIDBS and In Silico Discovery and why it is so important to your business? Kipling. There are a number of things in terms of whatdrove us to the partnership. It is within our vision to provide an open,scalable way for people and organizations to integrate these large quantitiesof diverse data sources. We saw that the combo of IDBS's data managementsolutions with ISD's data federation platform called K3 as fitting this need,that when you put these two solutions together, you get something that isunique and very powerful, solving a very difficult to solve problem. Bycreating what is essentially a virtual data warehouse—it is a single view ofall the available data and data sources—scientists can navigate, data searchand retrieve a greatly expanded universe of data, without moving or alteringthe source data. This is one of the central problems that nearly all the pharmacompanies are facing right now. So it is the same combination of our datamanagement expertise with K3's data federation expertise that gives a uniquesolution to solve this problem. The emphasis for us there is on the word"unique". I don't know of a like solution out there right now.