The revolution cometh

Thermo Fisher and Sage-N Research produce Linux-based proteomics data software

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SAN JOSE, Calif.—Gearing up for what they expect to be a "major revolution in proteomics research," mass spectrometry system leader Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and Sage-N Research Inc., a supplier of high-throughput proteomics data analysis solutions, have produced the first proteomics software platform designed specifically for the Enterprise Linux market.

Called SORCERER Enterprise, the platform is the product of a five-year collaboration on proteomics analysis between the companies and is a scalable software suite for fully automated, high-volume proteomic analysis on high-performance Linux systems. Thermo Fisher and Sage-N will co-market the platform to their respective clients at data centers and central laboratories that process large amounts of proteomics data from mass spec experiments in research areas such as cancer, stem cells and neurodegenerative diseases. Financial terms of the collaboration were not released.

Andreas Hühmer, proteomics marketing director at Thermo Fisher, says the collaboration is part of Thermo Fisher's "long-term strategy of ensuring we work with leaders in the field of data searching."

"Although we can't be the best everywhere, we want to make sure our clients have the best tools available," Hühmer says. "We want to make sure that the customers who get tremendous value out of our mass spec instruments are also able to use them as tools to search and analyze their high-throughput data. Sage-N is a leader in this field. We will promote each other's presence and products in our common customer bases and work closely with them to make sure that those customers who need next-level database search engines in their labs can easily interface with Sage-N's product."

David Chiang, chairman and CEO of San Jose, Calif.-based Sage-N, says the partnership is is synergistic because Sage-N's focus on server- and Linux-based technology will help Thermo Fisher's mass spec customers process large amounts of detailed data.

"Thermo Fisher and Sage-N are gearing up for what we expect will be a major revolution in proteomics that, in my mind, has been kind of out of reach until now," Chiang says. "Thermo Fisher is one of the top technology leaders in mass spectrometry and proteomics. They need someone to help their customers process all of their high throughput data. That is where we come in. The combination of our software and analysis expertise and their instrument expertise is really what this collaboration is all about."

The SORCERER Enterprise platform can be used as the main, stand-alone data analysis system to support hundreds of proteomics researchers using a Web interface. It can also interface with Thermo Fisher's recently introduced Windows-based Proteome Discoverer software. High-throughput proteomics labs can use these two complementary products as an integrated system that allows customized back-end analytical tools and infrastructure interfaces on the SORCERER platform and a customizable front-end interactive environment on the Proteome Discoverer platform.

"It used to be that if you were a proteomics researcher, you had to buy everything you needed in one big box," Chiang continues. "Proteomics researchers need our capabilities, but sometimes they are not able to use a pre-packaged solution. We have adopted our solution and are able to scale it to their own internal servers."

Hühmer says he expects the platform to have a significant impact on the drug discovery process.

"I expect this will help those engaged in drug discovery to look at biological systems and manipulate them and their pathways, and enable them to make quick conclusions about drug targets," Hühmer says. DDN

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