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Issue dated - 2nd August 2004

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Front Page > India News > Story Print this Page|  Email this page

TCS launches the country’s first bioinformatics product

CIRCUIT EC / Hyderabad

S Ramadorai

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have launched ‘Bio Suite’, the country’s first comprehensive software for bioinformatics which caters to the needs of fields such as biology, post-genomic drug discovery and other related areas. Bio Suite was developed under the New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative programme (NMITLI). TCS plans to market the product world-wide and foray into the bioinformatics sector in a big way. TCS’s Hyderabad development centre has developed this product and about 40 professionals worked on the project for two years (80 man-years of effort).

After the Bio Suite product, TCS will work on two more projects- Bio Clusters and improved annotation of malaria under the NMITLI programme. The first project will focus on Bio Clusters by developing a cluster-based computing version. The current version works on a single workstation. The company is planning to make it work in a networked environment. This project will be completed by July 2005 at a cost of Rs 2.9 crore. The second project is genomics-based and aims at genome annotation of the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium Falciparum. The timeframe for completion of the project is three years.

Unveiling the Bio Suite product, president Dr A P J Abdul Kalam called upon TCS to build more products and make them affordable. “Biosciences, IT and nanotechnology are three technologies that have come up in a big way. Each segment has its own advantage for the country. India needs to be self-sufficient in medical software tools. I request major companies such as TCS to make products accessible and help SMEs develop products to tap the global market. Competitive pricing of these products enables students to carry out their research and development activities successfully,” Dr Kalam said.

18 academic institutions in addition to CISR have provided domain knowledge for developing TCS’s Bio Suite. “We have received a loan of Rs 7.8 crore at an interest rate of 3 percent from CSIR. TCS will hold all commercial rights of the product and CSIR will get 5 percent royalty on sales of Bio Suite. The product is ideally suited for use by SMEs in the bioinformatics sector, academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies. Bio Suite will meet the requirements of computational biology, genomics, drug design, and scientific algorithms,” said S Ramadorai, CEO, TCS.

Bio Suite has eight modules on sequence analysis, genome analysis, 3D modelling, drug design and simulations.

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