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Q&A: Neil Kipling, fouder and CEO IDBS
Guiildford, U.K.-based software developer IDBS is probably best known in the industry for its suite of drug discovery software products called ActivityBase. Widely used in the industry for roughly a decade, IDBS founder Neil Kipling says that the product name itself is probably better known than the name the company that produces it. In recent years, IDBS has naturally migrated to later stage activities, both with its E-WorkBook Suite of products and with its recent collaboration with integration specialist In Silico Disxcovery. Chief editor Chris Anderson recently chatted with Kipling about that 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 the work around biomarker identification, target identification and target validation—all key parts to the translational medicine approach that is developing in the industry. In order to be successful doing this it is vitally important to be able to search, record and validate data from a whole variety of 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. This issue has been around for a long time and it is not until recently that there have been many companies around who can address this problem properly. Where IDBS can meet those needs is to provide software services to help companies collect, search and consolidate data from these data sources. So as the market intensifies its need to do more of this, with more data, it will become even more essential to the process.
DDN: Can you comment on the ongoing collaboration between IDBS and In Silico Discovery and why it is so important to your business? Kipling. There are a number of things in terms of what drove us to the partnership. It is within our vision to provide an open, scalable way for people and organizations to integrate these large quantities of diverse data sources. We saw that the combo of IDBS's data management solutions with ISD's data federation platform called K3 as fitting this need, that when you put these two solutions together, you get something that is unique and very powerful, solving a very difficult to solve problem. By creating what is essentially a virtual data warehouse—it is a single view of all the available data and data sources—scientists can navigate, data search and retrieve a greatly expanded universe of data, without moving or altering the source data. This is one of the central problems that nearly all the pharma companies are facing right now. So it is the same combination of our data management expertise with K3's data federation expertise that gives a unique solution 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.