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Big Blue allies on drug-discovery tech

IBM and U.K. software company IDBS on Wednesday announced a partnership to offer drug-discovery technology. They will combine their technologies to create a product that integrates both chemical and biological data. The resulting "informatics platform" will be designed to increase research and development efficiency, improve collaboration among researchers, and accelerate drug discovery.

Under the terms of the agreement, IBM and IDBS will jointly market and sell IDBS software for the capture, organization, integration and analysis of biological and chemical drug-discovery data, optimized for IBM computing and storage systems. The life sciences field is seen as a fertile one for information technology providers. Market research firm IDC estimates spending on IT in the biosciences arena will jump from $12 billion in 2001 to $30 billion in 2006.