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Molecular Connections files patent for informatics products
Vijaya K – Bangalore

MOLECULAR Connections, the Bangalore based dry lab solutions provider for drug discovery process, has filed patents for two products in the areas of text mining technology for target identification and target validation. Molecular Connections is a joint venture between Idea2Solutions, an incubator and the venture capital arm promoted by the founders of Dr Reddy’s group and Kent Ridge Digital Labs (KRDL), a bioinformatics lab in Singapore.

The two products MCHIPS (Molecular Connections High density Interaction Pathway System) and MTEST (Molecular Connections Target Evaluation and Shortlisting Tool) are commercialised in the US market where the company has already a customer base. The target identification product enjoys a market size of $150 million and the market for its validation product is estimated at $500 million. ‘‘Our basic rationale is to be an insilico drug discovery partner for pharmaceutical majors bringing in the domain knowledge on pharma from Dr Reddy’s group and on informatics side from KRDL,’’ says Jignesh Bhate, director of the company.

However Jignesh says, ‘‘Our experience shows that the Indian market is not as yet matured to use new biology approach and high end tools in bioinformatics. Informatics is still nascent in India and not many companies in India have initiated ‘‘new biology’’ research.’’

Molecular Connections is initiating a programme next month to actively seek academic collaborations especially in the area of Molecular Biology, BioChemistry and Protein Chemistry. ‘‘We are in the final stages of negotiations with three customers based in Japan and the US,’’ he informed. Heading for further plans in terms of geographical expansions Jignesh asserts, ‘‘We cannot ignore the European market and at some point of time perhaps by the end of April next year we plan to enter the UK and German markets.’’