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BioRad, Infometrix team up
April 2006
by Chris Anderson  |  Email the author
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PHILADELPHIA—Boasting a software integration by two parties that didn't meet face to face until two days before the unveiling of their new combined offering, Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. and chemometrics specialist Infometrix announced at Pittcon 2006 last month a new informatics application called AnalyzeIt MVP. The software, an integration of Infometrix' Pirouette chemometrics technology for multivariate processing and Bio-Rad's KnowItAll informatics system, promises to allow researchers methods to better analyze large spectral, chromatographic, chemical and biological data sets especially in the area of metabolomics.
 
"If you are looking at the "M" in ADME, it remains a critical bottleneck in pharmaceutical R&D," says Gregory Banik, general manager of Bio-Rad's informatics division. "Creating [AnalyzeIt MVP] with Infometrix was a no-brainer since it focuses on analytical chemistry, which has always been our strength, and allows us to move deeper into serving the metabolomics market."
 
At the heart of AnalyzeIT MVP is the ability for researchers to analyze and visualize large data sets in a single step, within a single environment. More typical today is the need to transfer data derived from an instrument for each computation and usually providing data in a vast tabular format.
 
"What Pirouette brings to this is our mechanism for identifying trends from large data sets and grouping relevant data to make it easier for researchers to see these trends," says Brian Rohrback, president of Infometrix.
 
In its initial version, AnalyzeIt MVP will allow for the multivariate processing of spectral and choromatographic data to look for both similarities and differences in the data sets as a whole. Graphical displays built into the system allow researchers to clearly visualize convergent and divergent data, freeing researchers from scanning large tables of data in their attempts to spot trends.
 
"We believe that the information we can derive from this is science that has never seen the light of day and combining our products with Infometrix' expertise is a unique and powerful application," says Banik
Belying the complexity of the product, which has one patent pending, was the speed and method of development. First contact between the two companies was made July of last year after Banik downloaded a demo copy of Pirouette and left an online message that he was interested in discussing a potential collaboration.
 
"I probably get 50 such requests over the course of a year and most turn into nothing," says Rohrback. "But speaking with Greg, it became apparent both what a quick study he was and how much working together to provide this functionality made sense."
 
It made so much sense that Infometrix temporarily shelved other work to focus on creating the new product.
 
Amazingly, all the work done to integrate Piroutte with KnowItAll was done without the development teams from the companies ever meeting face to face. Much of this was aided by the Bio-Rad's commitment to open architecture and its developer's tool kit aimed specifically at making integration with other software tools easier.
 
"It all just came together at the right time," Rohrback adds. "We had just redesigned our software to make it more capable of this kind of integration."
 
Once work began, Banik says, the work flowed smoothly due to the similar philosophies of the two companies. "We heard from some of our customers that Infometrix had the reputation as the premier chemometrics company," he notes. "To be able to do this quickly and to create this new tool showed us that it is a reputation they deserve."
 
Code: E040606

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