There’s quite a bit going on this week, and one expo in particular is the Annual Bio-IT Conference.  Today, Microsoft announced Amalga Life Sciences Software.  The press release and early adapters follows below.  Additional Information can be read at the Bio-IT website.image

Yesterday, the site spoke about Trialx and being able to Tweet for Trials.  

I have an up and pending interview with Mike Naimoli, a biopharmaceutical scientist and the Director of Life Sciences for the US Region for Microsoft that should also be posted here soon too.  The Microsoft Trento Centre is listed is as an early adapter and you can read more from one of my previous posts here about the center in Italy.  They use Algorithmic systems biology to benefit both worlds with a new breed of scientists.

Microsoft Research Trento Centre: Biology and Computer Science Coming Together

What I learned with Life Sciences is that most hospitals or other health organizations are only analyzing 3% of the available data, thus there’s a lot of unused valuable information being left ton the the table.  When you bring this additional information into Clinical Trials, it can not only speed up the process but with drug development potential side effects and other elements are identified at a much faster pace, and I have to say this too, it will end up keeping some of the cost in line, maybe not cheaper, but perhaps a bit more predictable.

The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is right on the list and an early participant with Microsoft Life Sciences and more can be read below.  The “Concept Brower” allows the creation of “what if” situations to explore and analyze.  BD 

Press Release:

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center among early adopters of Microsoft Amalga Life Sciences.

BOSTON — April 28, 2009 — At the Bio-IT World Conference & Expo, Microsoft Corp. introduced Amalga Life Sciences, a new software system designed to transform healthcare and life science research data into the critical knowledge needed for the discovery of new personalized treatments. Microsoft Amalga Life Sciences helps organizations across the life sciences spectrum achieve the next level of research capability by connecting data and investigators in new ways through novel storage capabilities, ontology management functions and a semantic query environment powered by a next-generation reasoning engine.

“Our researchers face an overwhelming challenge to collect, analyze, interpret and share complex data from a wide range of diseases and experiments,” said Lee Hartwell, Ph.D., president and director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and 2001 Nobel Laureate. “We look forward to exploring the potential of Amalga Life Sciences to help us understand this data in a rich and efficient way and ultimately help us meet our vision of enabling personalized medicine.”

Amalga Life Sciences is designed to manage and analyze heterogeneous experimental and operational research data. The Amalga Life Sciences “hybrid store” manages both simple and complex data, including experimental protocol descriptions and higher-level knowledge representations, giving organizations the opportunity to manage and redesign processes to increase productivity, improve decision-making and reduce errors. In addition, Amalga Life Sciences interfaces with existing and future systems as an open and active software system. This unique system allows life science organizations to provide their investigators with a research environment that assists the scientific investigation and validation of clinical and biological systems.

“The current nature of multidisciplinary research and operating models has led to a research IT landscape that lacks seamless integration and extensibility of data, expresses clinical knowledge inconsistently, and operates on incomplete biological knowledge described by different research contexts,” said Jim Karkanias, senior director of applied research and technology, Microsoft Health Solutions Group. “At its core, Amalga Life Sciences is designed to overcome these issues and enable research organizations to implement new models of research and development for personalized medicine.”

The evolution of current research IT systems has generated a data-rich but knowledge-poor environment. Amalga Life Sciences transforms the disconnected data into a network of information so that its novel reasoning engine may assist investigators to identify direct and indirect relationships between biological and clinical concepts and therefore convey knowledge.clip_image004

Amalga Life Sciences features a “Concept Browser” for the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) ontology, which enables the user to input and connect multiple concepts via their ontological relationships. The user may choose to connect via all possible connections, to select the depth of connections or to display only the shortest path. The output is displayed to the user as a visual network of concepts and relationships. Once the data is accessible and manageable, subject matter experts can then apply models and theories to data, identify the best solutions to complex problems, and predict new relationships.

Part of the Microsoft Amalga family of enterprise systems, Amalga Life Sciences incorporates the innovative core technology components of Amalga Unified Intelligence System 2009, announced April 6. These core technology components include the ability to integrate data from many disparate systems throughout the organization. Amalga Life Sciences is on display April 27–29 at Bio-IT World in Boston.

About Microsoft in Health

Microsoft is committed to improving health around the world through software innovation. Over the past 12 years, Microsoft has steadily increased its investments in health, with a focus on addressing the challenges of health providers, health and social services organizations, payers, consumers, and life sciences companies worldwide. Microsoft closely collaborates with a broad ecosystem of partners and develops its own powerful health solutions, such as Amalga and HealthVault. Together, Microsoft and its industry partners are working to advance a vision of unifying health information and making it more readily available, ensuring the best quality of life and affordable care for everyone.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

Additional information below on the early adapters….


Microsoft Amalga Life Sciences
Early Adopters and References

April 27, 2009

David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI), Kannapolis, NC

Overview: The David H. Murdock Research Institute was established as a nonprofit organization to support groundbreaking research at the North Carolina Research Campus. Funded through a private grant by David H. Murdock, the DHMRI, with its state of the art facilities and capabilities, was established to be the catalyst in the development of NCRC as a world class research park. DHMRI and NCRC will host the world’s leading scientists to promote a level of unprecedented scientific collaboration and public-private partnerships never before possible in the areas of agriculture, nutrition, and human health.

Use Case: For the DHMRI, Microsoft Amalga Life Sciences will enable scientific discovery across the DHMRI’s multidisciplinary life sciences research environment. The DHMRI is unique in the scale and diversity of research that will be conducted in its 11+ Core Laboratories spanning ‘omics sciences, microscopy, clinical discovery and more.  Each laboratory is expected to produce complex data, varying in size (up to several petabytes per lab) and format. Amalga Life Science will help scientists better understand the context of their data, turn it into meaningful information and use it to validate new discoveries. Microsoft Amalga Life Sciences will facilitate information integration of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data supporting data acquisition, storage, analysis, inference and publication. By bringing complex information into context, the DHMRI’s researchers will use Microsoft’s Amalga Life Sciences technologies to promote collaboration and novel interpretation of health, nutrition and agriculture in the life sciences. 

Quote: “To carry out the mission of our institution, we have to employ flexible, practical and clever IT solutions. Microsoft will play a vital role in helping us achieve our goal at the DHMRI. We expect Amalga Life Sciences will provide an agile infrastructure that will optimize the user experience for our staff working on the front lines of scientific research.”

“We can’t afford to introduce unnecessary complexity into our research environment at the DHRMI. That’s why we’re looking to Microsoft and Amalga Life Sciences to contribute with new methods for analyzing data, promoting collaboration in support of turning information into science, and helping us become the fulcrum of nutrition and life sciences research.”

Dr. Kenneth E. Russell, Chief Information Officer, David H. Murdock Research Institute

Contact: Randy Allen, Ph.D., Director of Business Development, (704) 250-2602

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA

Overview: At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. The organization’s researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit

Use Case: Machine-assisted generation of hypothesis-driven associations between clinical and experimental data. The FHCRC and Microsoft collaboration will drive the progress and development of an innovative software platform for life science researchers. The collaboration will bring together the world-class domain expertise of FHCRC scientists and the power of Microsoft technologies to integrate, visualize and generate novel hypotheses from cancer research data.

Quote: “At FHCRC, our researchers face an overwhelming challenge to collect, analyze, interpret, and share complex data from a wide range of diseases and experiments. We look forward to exploring Amalga Life Sciences  to see if it can help us understand this data in a rich and efficient way and ultimately help us meet our vision of enabling personalized medicine.

Lee Hartwell, Ph.D., President and director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Professor of genome sciences and adjunct professor of medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; American Cancer Society Research Professor of Genetics; 2001 Nobel Laureateimage

LineaGen Inc., Salt Lake City

Overview: LineaGen, Inc. is a Salt Lake City-based specialty diagnostics company that provides innovative tests and services for the earlier and more informative diagnoses of Autism and Multiple Sclerosis. LineaGen will provide diagnostic testing services through a CLIA-certified laboratory, including proprietary tests discovered and developed as a result of LineaGen’s core genetic research programs as well as current standard-of-care tests. Integrated with LineaGen’s laboratory testing will be value-add services including comprehensive, personalized interpretation of test results, secure electronic communication/web portal for reporting and client queries, clinical and genetic counseling for patients, their families, and their physicians, and consultation/advocacy for third-party payor reimbursement.

Use Case: LineaGen will collaborate with Microsoft and Navigenics to create an unprecedented resource designed to aid in the understanding of how genetic variation contributes to human health and disease. The collaboration will ultimately collect and evaluate the genetic and health information from millions of individuals, and perform interventional trials to improve the effectiveness of preventive health strategies. Preventive health strategies include efforts to effect behavior change, improve health and wellness, improve drug compliance, and to reduce disease burden based on genetic risk data. LineaGen provides a collection of unique genotypic and phenotypic assets, which will initially enable the collaboration to establish a unique foundational resource that will grow over time.

Quote: “We are very excited to collaborate with Microsoft and Navigenics to deliver a large-scale, innovative platform for understanding the linkages between genetics and disease, and to delivering this understanding as novel products and services in the personalized health care market. Combining our expertise and technology assets, we will uncover patterns in health and genetic data whose outcomes will make an impact on the ability of individuals to manage their personal health and wellness more effectively.”

Michael Paul, Ph.D., LineaGen President and CEO

Contact: Alex S. Lindell
Director, Business Development
LineaGen, Inc.
801.931.6200    |  Main
801.931.6207    |  Directb

Microsoft Research - University of Trento Centre for Computational and Systems Biology (CoSBi), Trento Italy

Overview: CosBi is a non-profit limited liability consortium shared 50 percent by the University of Trento and 50 percent by Microsoft Research Cambridge. CoSBi’s primary goal is to perform research activities and develop specific languages and mechanisms of modeling, analyses and simulations in the fields of medical science, biology, bio-information and complex systems in general. The Centre principally focuses on research in the field of innovative computer science technology in interdisciplinary fields.

Use Case: The CoSBi and Microsoft collaboration will drive the progress and development of Amalga Life Sciences to assist the interpretation of biological systems using process calculi-based conceptual and computational tools developed by CoSBi. Using the DataNet storage of Amalga Life Sciences to persist models of biological systems, CoSBi will apply algorithmic systems biology by using the BlenX programming language to demonstrate how to move from solvable to executable models of biological systems.

Quote: “We are excited to collaborate with Health Solutions Group on their latest product offering, Amalga Life Sciences.  The collaboration is an excellent opportunity for CoSBi and Microsoft  to push the boundaries of Systems Biology. By using the Amalga Life Sciences, we will be able to persist our  models of biological systems and apply the BlenX language to specify workflows that predict the behavior of multi-level, multi-scale biological systems in a modular, compositional, scalable and executable manner in a way not possible before.”

Corrado Priami, President and CEO of the Microsoft Research - University of Trento Centre for Computational and Systems Biology

Related Reading:

Microsoft’s Growing Push into Life Sciences
Microsoft Research: Research & Programs for Healthcare
Steve Shihadeh, VP Microsoft Health Solutions Group – The Amalga Software Solution for Aggregating Hospital Information (Interview)
Genomics and Silverlight from Microsoft working together for Great Visual Enhancement– BioMashUps

Microsoft CRM Integrating with ZoomInfo – Microsoft Dynamics Platform for Healthcare

Scripps, Navigenics, Affymetrix and Microsoft team on groundbreaking health study – Personalized Medicine


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