Partners eye biologics discovery platform

Finding no commercial solutions matching its biologics R&D needs, Bayer Schering Pharma R&D will spend the next several years collaborating with software maker Genedata to create a biologics data platform. The specialty pharmaceutical company found that existing generic software available for small-molecule discovery and downstream R&D processes was inadequate for its protein-based therapeutics needs, which include library development, screening, engineering, optimization and production processes.

The goal of the collaboration is to create a knowledge management system for Bayer Schering's use in discovery and development of treatments for cancer, hemophilia and multiple sclerosis. Genedata is perhaps best known for its companion discovery-software offerings of Phylosopher (for anti-infectives target discovery), Screener (lead discovery) and Expressionist (biomarker discovery).

The software maker says it sees generic workflows that are common across biologics producers. According to a spokesperson, the company intends to take a standardized software approach in the effort with Bayer, and expects to further develop the resulting software for commercial availability. The commercial offering is expected to allow shared workflows across biotech companies, while still being adaptable to company-specific processes via a configuration layer and open APIs.

Bayer Schering, which was an early adopter of Phylosopher, will use the data management and analysis system to support informatics tasks across its U.S. and European sites. Synchronized data exchanges are expected to streamline the biologics discovery and development process, from lead generation through production. The data platform will also provide a historical record of the pharma company's therapeutic proteins, to aid in downstream biologics development.

- here's the Genedata announcement