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An acceptable third party
June 2007
by Chris Anderson  |  Email the author


ST. JOSEPH, Mich.—Sometimes having the right friends in the right places makes all the difference—as long as you have clean and well-ordered data. Such was the case for GVK Biosciences, which recently announced that it has completed a license deal for its medicinal chemistry database with leading systems biology software provider GeneGo Inc.
The deal, which was struck relatively quickly, was set into motion when Sreeni Devidas, GVK's vice president of business development, contacted long-time industry friend and colleague Julie Bryant, who holds the same title at GeneGo.
"GVK approached us and it was initially based on a friendship I've had with Sreeni going back a number of years," explains Bryant. "He had just recently joined GVK and it was through that relationship that we began looking at their data. A specific database that we were interested in had a much higher quality than other databases we have ever looked at."
In fact, the license deal with GVK marks the first time GeneGo has ever accepted third-party data, but that is not an indication that the company has changed its approach to how it makes new data available to its customers.
"Like the pharma companies who are our customers, we have to make build-versus-buy decisions," says Bryant. "But we haven't seen data, until now, that was able to meet our standards for quality. So that's says a lot about GVK."
For GVK, the decision to license its data to GeneGo was consistent with its business of finding any potential channel. One of the largest CROs in India, with more than 1,300 employees spread among three different locations, the company already counts 15 of the top 20 pharma companies as customers for its data. "We only provide the database to our customers and it is up to them to use it the way they want," says Devidas. "With GeneGo, it is an indirect use of the data, but they are also the most advanced in terms of using the data in MetaCore and MetaDrug applications and it will help add another layer of predictive modeling to those applications."
The medicinal chemistry database licensed to GeneGo currently comprises more than 800,000 small molecule inhibitors and has associated 3 million SAR information, which has been extracted from more than 42,000 medicinal chemistry journal articles.
While the data is the highest-quality GeneGo has seen to date from a third party, it won't simply be a matter of plug-and-play, Bryant notes. "While we examined the data and found it to be acceptable, we will still put it through our internal manual curation in order to put it into our database," she says. "It is not going to be an immediate release, but we anticipate that we will release the entire data in our MetaCore and MetaDrug discovery platform in September."
Code: E060714



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