Accelrys Announces Pipeline Pilot 8.0 Scientific Informatics Platform

By Kevin Davies

May 5, 2010 | Accelrys, the San Diego-based informatics software and services company, has announced the latest release of its leading scientific informatics platform, Accelrys Pipeline Pilot 8.0.  The new edition, which was previewed last month at Bio-IT World Expo, aims to support more scientists and researchers working individually or as collaborative teams across the wider scientific R&D enterprise.

Matt Hahn, Accelrys’ senior vice president of R&D, was the co-founder and former CEO of SciTegic, which originally developed Pipeline Pilot before the firm was acquired by Accelrys in 2004. Hahn briefed Bio-IT World on the features of the new release.

Pipeline Pilot was originally developed to manage information and, as Hahn says, “capture processes that scientists go through, allowing them to make decisions and understand data, without doing the manual steps over and over again. We understand the complex data of R&D driven companies – molecules, biology, sequence, image, textual data. We make it easy to integrate those data,” whether they be databases, flat files, Web, or spreadsheets.

Pipeline Pilot can be deployed through the Web or portal clients such as Microsoft Office SharePoint. “In many cases, clients don’t know they’re using Pipeline Pilot,” says Hahn, “It’s the ‘Intel inside.’” Users can create protocols and build workflows — accessing and merging data, filtering and analysis, applying predictive models and ranking compounds against an assay. Those data can be extracted into a database, a Powerpoint presentation, Web page, PDF, or put into Documentum.

New Goals

Hahn says that Accelrys has three major goals with the release of Pipeline Pilot 8. “First, move laterally from research chemistry into biology. A significant thrust that we have is to position in biology as strong as chemistry.” Applications such as next-generation sequencing and bio-registration are all built on top of the software.

Second, says Hahn, is imaging. “The growing volume of [life sciences] data is largely image data. We need to understand images as easily as biological and chemical data. Pipeline Pilot is probably the number one player in high-content screening and we want to continue to drive into broader areas.”

Third, “Pipeline Pilot provides a window to understanding scientific data. We’ve not had significant traction with Pipeline Pilot outside life sciences. A new thrust to move into the material science area.”

There are several new features in Pipeline Pilot 8.0, the first major release in about 15 months. “We’ve been moving up the value chain seeking broader deployment,” says Hahn. “Much of our effort has been to make the platform enterprise ready.”

To that end, the new edition has improved scalability, so users can provide protocols that can be executed by larger groups, e.g. a Web-based report or running a project overnight.

Pipeline Pilot 8.0 is Windows Server 2008 64-bit compatible. “Over 50% our customers run on Windows servers,” says Hahn. “We also support GRID and cluster processing.” Accelrys has also added new capability to monitor remote servers and beefed up security. There is improved two-way integration with SharePoint to help drive collaboration across sites, as well as with other systems such as Perkin Elmer’s Columbus (for image data management) and Thermo Scientific’s Cellomics (for high-content screening). 

The Pipeline Pilot release comes hard on the heels of the recently announced merger with Symyx. “If you look at Symyx, it’s a dominant data management company with an emerging electronic lab notebook (ELN) business and applicable across various scientific domains. We have the middle piece of the analysis -- the automation. Our strategy is to integrate the best of both product lines to create a new generation of products.  Pipeline Pilot will also be integrated within the Symyx stack, and vice versa, so we can provide analysis into an ELN world.”


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