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TCS bio-suite unveiled

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , July 14

THE President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, on Wednesday unveiled `Bio-Suite', a comprehensive bioinformatics product developed by a consortium headed by Tata Consultancy Services under the New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Complimenting the team of researchers headed by TCS, during his visit to the Deccan Park, the President called upon the TCS management to make this technology suite affordable and accessible helping other companies to develop more products for the global market.

Complimenting the Indian technology firms, Dr Kalam said IT, bio-sciences and nano-technologies would play a significant role in our lives. With the emergence of nano-technologies, Indian experts can play a big role in health care and medicine.

The Chief Executive Officer of TCS, Mr Ramadorai, said Bio-Suite is a software package that caters to all aspects of computational biology from genomics to drug design and incorporates the latest publicly known algorithm. It was developed by the TCS team using best software engineering practices.

The domain knowledge for Bio-Suite was provided by eighteen academic partners who were identified and directly funded by the CSIR. Bio-Suite is ideally suited for small and medium biotechnology companies, academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies.

The Vice-President of TCS, Dr. M.Vidyasagar, said TCS plans to market Bio-Suite worldwide, and foray into the broad area of computational biology and post-genomic drug discovery. Bio-Suite has been developed by the Advanced Technology Centre in Hyderabad, over a two-year period, by a team of 40 persons and thereby represents about 70 person-years of effort.

The Director-General of CSIR, Dr R.A. Mashelkar, said while the TCS owns the commercial rights to Bio-Suite, it would pay a 5 per cent royalty to CSIR on all sales. The other partners have received research grants in return for their participation.

The development of Bio-Suite was significant and helped us lead the spheres of drug discovery and research. This would be like a next step for controlled clinical research, Mr Mashelkar said.

Dr Mashelkar said that CSIR has given two more projects to TCS. One project relates to developing this solution for cluster computing, wherein the bio-suite will function in an environment where multiple computers are located against its use in a workstation. The second project relates to improved annotation of malaria that will help target the healthcare community.

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