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On cloud nine
July 2013
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author
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SAN DIEGO—BT and Accelrys Inc. have announced they will be working together to combine their respective data solutions in order to mine helpful insight from massive public health repositories.

Combining BT's Cloud Compute platform with the Accelrys Enterprise Platform and Pipeline Pilot has resulted in a technology pairing that has proven to be up to the challenge of identifying useful information in vast quantities of data. Accelrys and BT continue to work toward additional solutions for the management and analysis of big data with the goal of eliminating concerns regarding information management so that customers can focus on their research.

"The generation of ever-increasing amounts of health data is both a blessing and a curse, as they are data-rich, but often information-poor," Leif Pedersen, senior vice president of marketing, product management and corporate development at Accelrys, said in a press release. "Working with BT, we've shown that we can deliver meaningful and valuable insights from these huge datasets."

BT has amassed publicly available health system and social care information in a research repository for use by the life-science industry, healthcare industry and academia. The repository is initially hosted in the United States and the United Kingdom, but it is also available for international access. The issue with such datasets is the sheer size as well as the fact that they may lack proper structure.

In addition to BT's research repositories, David Brown, chief technology officer of BT Life Sciences, BT Global Services, says the United Kingdom and British government "have a program as part of their life-science strategy to open up as much as possible the National Health Service and medical research."
 
Between this and the output generated from genomic sequencing—Brown notes that "one 10x human genome is around 1.2 terabytes of data"—there is an overwhelming amount of data to examine and process. Cloud computing, for which Brown says the best days "are still to come," allows researchers to store and analyze these massive amounts of data externally to manage costs and limit the need for extensive in-house infrastructure.

Andy Leuthe, senior director of Product Marketing for Accelrys, says big data management is one of the leading issues facing the industry today.

"Big Data is a challenge faced by a variety of different industries. Generally speaking, regardless of the industry, today's use of technology generates a tremendous amount of data. Mining and analyzing that data has the potential to unlock a tremendous amount of value for organizations," Leuthe notes.
 
"Specifically for biotechs and pharmaceutical organizations, the amount of data generated is significant and probably as an industry may be near the top as far as data generated and data consumed. The Big-Data challenge for the companies Accelrys serves is trying to find that next big discovery in the tidal wave of data."

The two companies announced a formal partnership in April of last year to provide pharmaceutical and biotech organizations with solutions from Accelrys made available on and delivered by BT's cloud services. Accelrys' solutions continue to be integrated into the BT for Life Science R&D Workbench, which is built on the BT Cloud Compute IAAS platform. In addition, Accelrys recently made its HEOS collaboration suite available on BT Cloud Compute platform, and is a foundational member of the BT for Life Sciences ecosystem.

"Building on the launch of BT for Life Sciences last year, we are excited that our continued collaboration with Accelrys is bringing new innovations to the life-science industry," Bas Burger, president of Global Pharmaceutical & Chemical for BT Global Services, commented in a statement. "By making it easier for scientists to gain valuable medical insights from anonymous data buried in large datasets, we can help provide the interpretation of health outcomes. Working together, BT and Accelrys are making such patient outcomes analysis available to those companies developing drugs, enabling real-world outcomes that can be linked to the drug development pipeline."
 
 
 
Code: E071314

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