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January 20, 2009

Clustered R
REvolution Computing is working with Microsoft to bring the "R" statistical language to Microsoft’s new Windows HPC Server 2008. REvolution’s RPro is an optimized, validated, and commercially supported distribution of R (see, Bio•IT WorldJuly 2008, p. 30). RPro programs can now utilize the multiple microprocessors inside Microsoft computer clusters, automatically scaling to leverage whatever microprocessor count is available. The RPro module that enables cluster computing, ParallelR, runs in interactive mode on Windows HPC Server 2008. REvolution has also integrated RPro with the Windows HPC Server 2008’s scheduler, allowing users to queue RPro batch jobs.

Illumina Interpretation
Ariadne has completed a partner program with Illumina to provide advanced integration and interpretation capabilities for data generated from Illumina’s iScan and BeadArray Reader platforms. The coupling of Ariadne’s Pathway Studio to Illumina’s next generation software, GenomeStudio Data Analysis Software, provides researchers with a state-of-the-art toolset to quickly analyze expression data for physiological changes, cell signaling and other significant biological changes.

Specific Labeling
Amgen and ImClone met with FDA in late December to ask the agency to relabel their cancer drugs Vectibix and Erbitux in response to clinical trial data showing that the drugs work in patients with a normal KRAS gene, but not in patients with a mutated version. Labeling with drugs with this information would be tantamount to FDA approval of the drug for a certain group of patients. About 40% of colon cancer patients are believed to have a mutated KRAS gene (see, Bio•IT WorldApril 2008, p. 8).

This article also appeared in the Jan-Feb 2009 issue of Bio-IT World Magazine.
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