HP selected for genetic data bank platform

Hewlett-Packard (HP) will provide the IT infrastructure for databases used by genetic data banking service provider First Genetic Trust, HP announced Monday.

First Genetic Trust doesn't gather genetic information. Instead, it guards genetic and medical information gathered elsewhere. State and federal laws often require medical and genetic information be kept securely and transmitted only to legally authorized parties.

Using secure technology, researchers can access First Genetic Trust databases with the personal identification of genetic subjects stripped away, allowing for DNA analysis of anonymous groups in clinical trials for drug discovery, the company said. In the future the company plans to allow patients to bank their DNA profile with First Genetic Trust, which will make the data available to doctors or researchers at the subject's request, it said in the release.

The company was formed by the bioinformatics chiefs of Motorola and IBM in 2000. IBM had been supplying First Genetic Trust with its high-performance computing, database, and security technologies to date, as part of a US$100 million initiative to enter the bioinformatics market, according to earlier releases by IBM and First Genetic Trust.

HP will provide Unix 9000 servers and databases, printers and computers, as well as its Virtualvault security software in general use by financial institutions for guarding monetary transaction data security, HP said in the release.

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