BT for Life Sciences R&D: The Cloud for Accelerated Discovery

Cloud services for pharmaceutical industry to increase R&D productivity

LONDON, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 & 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 (NASDAQ: ACCL), 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." 

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 modelling. This aims at helping them develop new products faster, with lower costs and increased revenues."

About BT

BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries.  Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services.  BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

In the year ended 31 March 2011, BT Group's revenue was 20,076m pounds Sterling with profit before taxation of 1,717m pounds.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group.  BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. 

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[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