Pioneering US/Scottish alliance for life science and clinical informatics

August 31, 2011

Aridhia Informatics Ltd and Glencoe Software have formed a strategic partnership to create innovative products to aid the development of personalised therapies and deliver improved patient outcomes.

Anticipating an increased focus on stratified medicine in coming years, the two companies will work together to create products for the international healthcare, life and biomedical science markets using real world clinical, genetic and research information.

Aridhia’s specialist capabilities in accessing, storing and analysing health care information will be brought together with Glencoe’s expertise in managing, sharing and publishing large scientific datasets generated in laboratories around the world.

As part of the agreement, Scottish company Aridhia will make a major investment in Seattle-based Glencoe to further accelerate its already-rapid growth in these areas.

Both Glencoe Software and Aridhia Informatics are start-ups based on technology and expertise developed at the University of Dundee, Dundee, Scotland.

Professor Peter Downes, Principal of the University, said: “Dundee is a great place for life sciences companies, such as Aridhia and Glencoe to do business. Their collaboration here will create jobs and further strengthen our innovation economy. It is good news for Dundee and good news for Scotland.”

Professor Andrew Morris, Director of the Medical Research Institute at the University of Dundee, and co-founder of Aridhia Informatics said: “This partnership brings together complementary strengths needed to accelerate the innovation of stratified – or personalised – medicines. Our vision is to become a world leader in providing the clinical and scientific information required for the personalised, targeted drugs and treatments of the future. The UK is a good place to do this work because of the opportunities for open innovation between NHS, academic and commercial partners.”

Professor Jason Swedlow, President of Glencoe Software, Inc., and co-founder of OME, said: “OME and Glencoe Software are particularly excited about this partnership. We look forward to working with the Aridhia Informatics team to develop new tools for the life sciences and clinical data markets. The challenge is huge, but the potential benefit for biomedical research and patient outcomes is enormous.”

Aridhia Informatics is a joint venture between the University of Dundee, NHS Tayside and Sumerian. Aridhia provides a unique combination of clinical expertise, academic excellence and high performance computing experience to generate real time information services that improve the safety, quality and efficiency of health care. The company has raised over £6.5M of external capital investment since it’s founding in 2008.

Glencoe Software, incorporated in Seattle, USA has developed technology platforms that are based on open source software built by the Open Microscopy Environment (OME; http://openmicroscopy.org). Founded in 2000, OME builds and releases software tools for the analysis of very large scientific image datasets. Its tools are used globally throughout the academic and commercial communities. Glencoe Software is a major contributor to OME’s efforts, and has used OME technology to build many different products, including the Journal of Cell Biology DataViewer (http://jcb-dataviewer.rupress.org), the world’s first on-line scientific image data publication system and various solutions for microscopy and high content screening in the academic and pharmaceutical markets.

Dr David Sibbald, Chairman of Aridhia, said: “We relish the opportunity to partner with Glencoe. This will act as an accelerator to link the laboratory to the clinic. We see this investment as prescient with the real prospect of using individual genetic and imaging information to tailor treatment for individual patients, so called personalized medicine. We anticipate it will not only deliver real benefits to patients and health care professionals, but also will deliver economic advantages associated with world leading, unique research.”

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