IBM starts biotech consulting group

IBM Corp. announced Tuesday it will establish a life sciences consulting practice within its Global Services organization, to help biotech and pharmaceutical organizations use information technology in research and development.

The life sciences consulting business will cover knowledge management, data management and integration, and clinical trial electronic enablement for companies doing drug development. IBM aims to simplify data gathering and analysis, improve research and development cycles, and lower drug development costs with the Internet and IBM technology.

IBM will also offer hosting services including Web site and application infrastructure management and outsourcing.

The consulting business adds to recent computer industry moves to capitalize on growing IT needs among biotech researchers, particularly the need of genomics and proteomics researchers for high-powered supercomputing technology.

IBM and genome research services company NuTec Sciences Inc. announced in December that they are building a powerful supercomputer to investigate genetic expression and disease. [See: IBM Offers Supercomputer for Genome Analysis," Dec. 15] The supercomputer will be capable of achieving 7.5 trillion calculations per second using IBM's eServer p640 Unix server with IBM's AIX operating system, and it will be made available for subcontracted work to other organizations.

IBM, in Armonk, New York, can be reached at +1-914-499-1900 or http://www.ibm.com/.

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