BOSTON — At the Bio-IT World Magazine World Life Sciences Conference + Expo, Microsoft Corp. announced the formation of the BioIT Alliance, a cross-industry group working to further integrate science and technology as a first step toward making personalized medicine a reality. The alliance unites the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, hardware and software industries to explore new ways to share complex biomedical data and collaborate among multidisciplinary teams to ultimately speed the pace of drug discovery and development. Founding members of the alliance include Accelrys Software Inc., Affymetrix Inc., Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., Applied Biosystems and The Scripps Research Institute, among more than a dozen industry leaders. The alliance also announced its first project, the Collaborative Molecular Environment, a data management solution to help make research more efficient.
“Advances in our understanding of the human genome promise to revolutionize medicine and open the door to therapies that are tailored to individuals,” said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft. “By bringing together people from innovative life sciences organizations that span the biomedical industry, the BioIT Alliance will play an important role in the development of solutions that transform today’s data into knowledge and improve the quality of millions of lives.”
Life science companies have unique technical challenges such as the need for more comprehensive data integration solutions, better technical collaboration and stronger knowledge management capabilities. The BioIT Alliance brings together science and technology leaders to consider innovative ways to address these challenges and use technology to reduce costs, streamline research and market their products more effectively.
Founding members of the alliance have already begun to collaborate on solutions that target common technology problems faced by life science companies. The first of these solutions is the Collaborative Molecular Environment, which will provide a means for data capture, visualization, annotation and archiving using Microsoft® Office, Windows® Presentation Foundation and SharePoint® Technologies. Microsoft is partnering with alliance member company InterKnowlogy LLC on the project, which is being tested by several other alliance members.