Cloud services for pharmaceutical industry to increase R&D productivity

LONDON (April 25, 2012) – BT today announced BT for Life Sciences R&D, the first cloud service designed to enable collaboration within the life sciences industry for increased R&D productivity. The new service is designed to allow customers to comply with the industry’s stringent security, regulatory and compliance requirements in a way that is suitable for many regulated applications a company may wish to deploy.

BT for Life Sciences R&D is being developed to become a secure and segregated platform for scientists in pharmaceutical, biotech, devices and diagnostics companies as well as in academia and government. This will allow them to construct and orchestrate in silico[1] workflows and data pipelines to identify new pharmaceutical targets and drug candidates. In addition, this platform enables research scientists to create global project groups and collaborate using social media tools. This ecosystem will allow the group to securely upload documents, share results and communicate via IM, voice, video or chat to analyze results in an environment that segments data and uses qualified hardware components and workflows specific to the pharmaceutical industry.

The BT for Life Sciences R&D platform is supported by the BT Assure portfolio of security services. These allow BT to assist customers in designing data encryption, anonymization[2], risk management and resilience to meet their quality and regulatory requirements for the cloud environment.

At the initial stage of rollout, the new cloud platform for life sciences builds on BT’s On Demand Compute service, with an innovative compliance “wrap” meeting the GxP[3] requirements for qualification. This conforms to the quality and regulatory requirements that make an environment suitable for many regulated applications that can be collaboratively used where partners may have differing risk profiles.

Using the in silico workbench functionality of BT for Life Sciences R&D, scientists have easy access to the applications and information they need to make predictive simulations. BT’s new platform brings together a number of scientific applications and data sources to provide immediate functionality and ease of use.  Embedded cloud orchestration tools significantly simplify IT management and resourcing requirements.

As part of this, BT has entered into an alliance with Accelrys, a leading scientific enterprise R&D software and services company, to bring additional features to the platform. The alliance will enable use of Accelrys scientific applications in BT for Life Sciences R&D and provide on-demand services for Accelrys customers.

BT for Life Sciences R&D leverages other innovative capabilities of the BT portfolio, such as BT One (collaboration and unified communications) and BT Connect (high capacity secure network to allow for private, hybrid and public clouds interoperability).  Customers will also benefit from BT Advise’s professional services capabilities in terms of application selection and migration to Cloud, orchestration support, Bioteam consulting services and design of Cloud environment elements.

Dr. Matt Hahn, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Accelrys, said: “A secure Cloud platform from a trusted supplier like BT is an important step in addressing the externalization, collaboration and cost pressures faced by many of our pharmaceutical and biotech customers today. Combining the scientifically aware Accelrys Enterprise Platform and BT’s robust cloud offering enables our customers to quickly analyze and share data using Pipeline Pilot, Symyx Notebook by Accelrys, Isentris and other Accelrys software to improve collaboration, lower costs and accelerate time to market.”

Berg Pharma will use the BT for Life Sciences R&D cloud service as the de facto standard for running Berg’s unique Interrogative Biology platform.  In addition,Berg Pharma will be able to offer major pharmaceutical companies its Interrogative Biologyplatform from BT’s cloud service in a secure manner, to produce better quality information. This will provide results that can lead to faster IND (Investigational New Drug) filings and to safer and more effective options for clinical trial participants. By running the Interrogative Biology platform in a secure cloud environment such as BT for Life Sciences R&D, Berg Pharma will also be able to work with major pharmaceutical companies that need faster and more innovative approaches to drug discovery and development.

Niven R. Narain, President & CTO for Berg Pharma, said:  “Berg Pharma’s novel approaches to drug discovery and development will integrate well with BT’s new cloud services offering. This approach will enable us to gain insight to underlying disease mechanisms and pathophysiology, provide a template for expedient ‘proof of principle’ IND enabling testing and allow for higher clinical trial success based on much deeper disease understanding.  This will readily create a diversified data ecosystem that represents the narrative of patient populations.  Medicine of the future must be data-driven to address the multifactorial nature of disease onset and allow for astute clinical and economic modelling.  Big data is important but actionable data is invaluable.”

Bas Burger, president of Global Commerce for BT Global Services, said:  “The pharmaceutical industry is facing an extremely challenging environment where patent protected revenues are at risk and R&D productivity are declining, resulting in lower revenues and continued rise in the cost of bringing new drugs to market. Now companies can potentially reduce research costs and accelerate time to market by collaborating with third parties in a secure and compliant environment, and bring innovative solutions to market faster through computer simulation and modeling. This aims at helping them develop new products faster, with lower costs and increased revenues.”

More at www.btplc.com


[1]In silico is a method to test drugs using computer models rather than laboratory (in vitro) and animal experiments (in vivo).

[2] Anonymization is the act of permanently and completely removing personal identifiers from data.

[3] GxP is a general term for Good Practice quality guidelines and regulations

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