IBM and Physiome Team for Biological Research

IBM Corp. and Physiome Sciences Inc. announced an agreement on Monday in which Physiome Sciences will use IBM's next-generation supercomputing technology for research on biological systems, diseases and potential drug targets. In addition, IBM will license biological modeling technology from Physiome Sciences for its internal use.

Physiome Sciences and its development collaborator, the University of Auckland in New Zealand will receive two of the first shipments of IBM's new eServer POWER4-based supercomputers. According to IBM, the system will enable Physiome Sciences to speed up its current capability to simulate complex models of cells, tissues and organs, and simulate the behavior of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma.

"Physiome Sciences's goal is to incorporate information from protein pathways into computerized models of cells, organs and disease states -- laying the infrastructure for virtual drug discovery," said Dr. Jeremy Levin, CEO of Physiome Sciences in a prepared statement.

Physiome expects the alliance will enable Physiome Sciences to enhance its product offerings, which include CardioPrism and PathwayPrism. These technology platforms address critical drug discovery requirements in data integration, data analysis and modeling, resulting in better target identification and analysis of effects of novel drugs and drug toxicity.

The companies will also work together to integrate complementary technologies in such areas as pattern discovery, gene expression analysis and signal transduction pathways, which map biological activities within cells. IBM also will work with Physiome Sciences to promote open standards such as the CellML, an XML-based language to develop computer models of cells, tissues and organs.

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