Pistoia Alliance to develop Elsevier data format

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Elsevier has announced it is donating its Unified Data Model (UDM) to The Pistoia Alliance, a global, not-for-profit alliance that works to lower barriers to innovation in life sciences R&D.

The UDM is an XML file format originally developed by Elsevier to improve the upload of external data sets into its tools. It will now be developed and extended under the stewardship of The Pistoia Alliance, with the ultimate aim of publishing an open and freely available format for the storage and exchange of drug discovery data. The UDM will become a common model allowing data to be easily shared and integrated between parties.

‘The absence of universal data standards hurts everybody involved in life science research and development, and is a huge inefficiency that impedes drug discovery,’ said Steve Arlington, president of The Pistoia Alliance.

‘Life science companies have traditionally developed their own internal infrastructures, which results in a duplication of efforts and in systems that are not interoperable. Collaboration between stakeholders will underpin the future of the life science industry, and overcoming these kinds of barriers is why The Pistoia Alliance was formed. This project will contribute to reducing the time it takes the industry to develop new therapeutics; we encourage our members to become involved in the development of the UDM and create a standard that helps move research forward.’

‘Data is the lifeblood of life science research today, and removing the hurdles to sharing and using data is critical in supporting the industry to deliver innovative and life-saving therapies,’ added Tim Hoctor, vice president for professional services at Elsevier.

‘Elsevier’s tools are designed to accelerate research and development in the life sciences, and contributing to open source standards is fundamental in unleashing the full potential of technology to enable innovation. We are therefore very pleased to donate the UDM model in support of this cause. The Pistoia Alliance’s members represent all the major pharmaceutical companies and service providers, which made it a perfect choice to further develop the work that Elsevier initiated on the UDM.’