Wyeth Pharma selects Genedata's platforms for drug R&D

By Wai Lang Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Wyeth, Pharmaceutical industry, Pharmacology, Drug discovery

Genedata has formed a new collaboration with Wyeth Pharma in which
the computational biology firm will lend its support to Wyeth's
drug discovery efforts.

The makers of Prevnar and Pristiq are adding to an existing informatics infrastructure to their US arm to cope with anticipated growth fuelled by new products as well as potential of key existing products, including Enbrel and Tygacil.

Wyeth intends to install Genedata's Expressionist and Phylosopher platforms to provide an automated processing and annotation platform capable of analysing tens of thousands of microarrays per month.

Wyeth's informatics set-up has been integrated with Genedata's automated workflows for processing and analysing gene expression data.

In addition, the Expressionist's workflow environment has been tailored as such to improve on the data quality. This extends to statistical criteria applied to results, such as the statistical significance level used to define biomarkers. This increases the repeatability of research findings obtained in a high-throughput context.

"We believe there is an excellent fit between Genedata and Wyeth's approach to drug discovery,"​ commented Jens Hoefkens, managing director of Genedata.

The Genedata Expressionist software system is specifically designed for 'omics' data integration, processing and analysis and uses statistical algorithms and visualisation tools with data management and result dissemination.

The platform enables researchers to analyse isolated information on cellular responses that are important for biomarker discovery, evaluating bioactive molecules, and clinical trial patient group stratification.

Likewise, the Phylosopher is a research information management system that has been developed to support the early stages of the drug discovery process by structuring and integrating research data from in-house experiments and interpreting this data.

A relational database integrates all proprietary drug-discovery relevant information within a pharmaceutical company with public biological data.

The system connects genome sequences, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic data with metabolic and signalling pathways, as well as with functional information and annotations and disease-relevant phenotypes.

"We are proud to provide Wyeth with our computational infrastructure for large-scale gene expression analysis,"​ said Othmar Pfannes, CEO of Genedata. Automation, and the establishment of a systematic framework for navigating results, is critical in the context of large-scale research operations.

Pfannes added: "This collaboration reflects Genedata's commitment to help customers gain the greatest benefit from investment in high-throughput omics technologies."

In a recent investor conference, Wyeth presented R&D highlights of its pipeline, including details of seven new products, 11 late-stage clinical programs and an update on research programs in oncology and Alzheimer's Disease.

Currently, Wyeth features nine oncology programs utilising three different therapeutic strategies. In addition, Wyeth's Alzheimer's program is utilising three platforms - small molecules, antibodies and therapeutic vaccines. There currently are 10 Alzheimer's programs in development at Wyeth.

"Since 2004, Wyeth has submitted 11 new drug applications in the US,"​ said Robert Ruffolo, senior Vice President of Wyeth and President of Wyeth Research.

"We have delivered on an ambitious goal to submit two New Drug Applications (NDA) for new molecular entities per year, and, with 68 projects now in development, we believe that we can continue at that pace."

Related topics: Preclinical Research

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