Cognizant, a leading provider of consulting, technology, and business process outsourcing services, and Eagle Genomics Ltd., a bioinformatics software company specializing in genomic data management and integration, has announced they are working with the Pistoia Alliance, Inc., a nonprofit, precompetitive alliance of life science companies and vendors, as one of the groups engaged to develop a conceptual cloud-based platform to facilitate access to public and proprietary sources of gene sequence data.
The Pistoia Alliance’s sequence services working group aims to define and document an externally hosted service for securely storing and mining both proprietary derived gene/sequence information and public domain gene databases. This conceptual platform developed by Cognizant and Eagle Genomics, as part of this piloting stage, will enable working group companies to securely share their bioinformatics resources among simultaneous, registered users in a secure, encrypted environment, while leveraging the flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiencies of a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. The future of collaboration and externalization within the life sciences industry will increasingly utilize hosted information services, and the Pistoia Alliance expects to run future pilots to further explore this business model involving a range of participants.
“This engagement supports the Pistoia Alliance’s goal to inspire different ways of thinking in the life sciences industry and effect real change to benefit all our organizations,” said Nick Lynch, President at Pistoia Alliance. “With the combined strengths of Cognizant and Eagle Genomics and the broader Pistoia community, we will build a platform to define standards in sequence services, while overcoming the challenges of disparate data and tools.”
Cognizant and Eagle Genomics will combine the best of their consulting, domain, technology, and business process expertise to effectively deliver the business solution. While Eagle Genomics will contribute specialized bioinformatics knowledge, Cognizant will manage the development of the platform, oversee testing and security validation, and help strengthen the initiative by managing relationships with existing and potential member organizations. The platform will deploy a secure and scalable installation of Ensembl, a software system and supporting database developed jointly by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute to produce and maintain automatic annotation on selected eukaryotic genomes. The platform will deliver a Plasmapper and a gene alias service as part of the initial functional services.