Excel guru firm targets drug discovery

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Related tags: Computer software, Application software

Despite the best efforts of specialist software development
companies and millions of dollars in spending on dedicated
programmes, the most commonly used package in the drug discovery
laboratory is Microsoft's office workhorse Excel.

This is the claim of a new company, CeuticalSoft​, that has been set up to develop off-the-shelf and customised Excel-based applications that can be used as practical software aids in the lab.

CeuticalSoft has developed an Excel framework, called AppWrap, that can be used to group together different Excel applications into an integrated whole. And the company already has a range of applications that cope with specific tasks.

For example, Filature is an Excel application for converting plate reader data from biological experiments to a uniform database format, while Calcature performs calculations on large batches of plate data from biological experiments.

"Despite the millions of dollars spent annually on enterprise software solutions the weapon of choice for data analysis is Excel,"​ claims CeuticalSoft. The company is the brainchild of Chip Allee, who founded preclinical drug discovery software company MLR Automation and has formerly worked for Genentech and Oxford Molecular.

"You might be reading this and thinking 'not in my lab, we spent $2 million on our most excellent be-all intra-net analysis workhorse. Our researchers are devoted to it.' But when put on the polygraph you will find that most of them are still using Excel to get their work done,"​ according to Allee.

Other offerings from the company include Templature for generating templates for plates, and Curvature, an application for fitting, analysing and reporting large numbers of non-linear curves from biological experiments. And CeuticalSoft will also build macros for free as a service to the scientific community, provided they contain relatively simple requirements.

Related topics: Preclinical Research

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