Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cognizant and Eagle Genomics to Work with Pistoia Alliance to Develop a Cloud-based Platform for Streamlining Sequence Services

Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH), a leading provider of consulting, technology, and business process outsourcing services, and Eagle Genomics Ltd., a bioinformatics software company specializing in genomic data management and integration, today announced they are working with the Pistoia Alliance, Inc., a nonprofit, precompetitive alliance of life science companies and vendors, as one of the groups engaged to develop a conceptual cloud-based platform to facilitate access to public and proprietary sources of gene sequence data.

The Pistoia Alliance's sequence services working group aims to define and document an externally hosted service for securely storing and mining both proprietary derived gene/sequence information and public domain gene databases. This conceptual platform developed by Cognizant and Eagle Genomics, as part of this piloting stage, will enable working group companies to securely share their bioinformatics resources among simultaneous, registered users in a secure, encrypted environment, while leveraging the flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiencies of a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) platform. The future of collaboration and externalization within the life sciences industry will increasingly utilize hosted information services, and the Pistoia Alliance expects to run future pilots to further explore this business model involving a range of participants.

"This engagement supports the Pistoia Alliance's goal to inspire different ways of thinking in the life sciences industry and effect real change to benefit all our organizations," said Nick Lynch, President at Pistoia Alliance. "With the combined strengths of Cognizant and Eagle Genomics and the broader Pistoia community, we will build a platform to define standards in sequence services, while overcoming the challenges of disparate data and tools."

Cognizant and Eagle Genomics will combine the best of their consulting, domain, technology, and business process expertise to effectively deliver the business solution. While Eagle Genomics will contribute specialized bioinformatics knowledge, Cognizant will manage the development of the platform, oversee testing and security validation, and help strengthen the initiative by managing relationships with existing and potential member organizations. The platform will deploy a secure and scalable installation of Ensembl, a software system and supporting database developed jointly by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute to produce and maintain automatic annotation on selected eukaryotic genomes. The platform will deliver a Plasmapper and a gene alias service as part of the initial functional services.

"Eagle and Cognizant have demonstrated a deep understanding of the open-source bioinformatics world and how best to adapt and support these publicly available resources to meet the high standards required by the leading pharmaceutical companies that are members of the Pistoia Alliance," said Richard Holland, co-founder and Operations and Delivery Director at Eagle Genomics Ltd.

"We look forward to partnering with Eagle Genomics in helping Pistoia Alliance address the challenges of fast evolving sequence services while streamlining communication and workflows," said Peter Sheppard, Assistant Vice President, Life Sciences practice at Cognizant. "We are committed to leveraging our domain-intensive global resources, deep understanding of drug development processes and cloud computing models, and global program management and delivery capabilities to build and manage a platform that supports the Pistoia Alliance's aim to lower barriers to innovation by improving the interoperability of business processes, data, and technology interfaces in the life sciences research industry."

About the Pistoia Alliance

The Pistoia Alliance is a global, not-for-profit, precompetitive alliance of life science companies, vendors, publishers, and academics that aims to lower barriers to innovation by improving the interoperability of R&D business processes. Initially conceived in 2007 by informatics experts at four "Top Five" pharma companies, the Pistoia Alliance now includes over 45 member companies. By assembling and aggregating common use cases, identifying specific, high-value areas of opportunity, and exploiting contemporary technologies and service delivery models, the Pistoia Alliance serves as a hub for envisioning information-based solutions that will drive innovation and productivity in the precompetitive domains of life science R&D. Learn more about the Pistoia Alliance by visiting

About Eagle Genomics Ltd

Eagle Genomics Ltd. is a bioinformatics software company specialising in the provision of open-source solutions for genomic data management and integration. Based in Cambridge, UK at the heart of Europe's largest biotech cluster, the company has rapidly become one of the leading providers of open-source bioinformatics technical support to customers around the world. Eagle can build bespoke solutions based around open-source platforms that fit exact requirements and run them anywhere from desktops to grids, clusters to clouds. For more, please visit:

About Cognizant

Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process outsourcing services, dedicated to helping the world's leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industry and business process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50 delivery centers worldwide and approximately 104,000 employees as of December 31, 2010, Cognizant is a member of the NASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 1000 and is ranked among the top performing and fastest growing companies in the world. Visit us online at or follow us on Twitter: Cognizant.

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