Pharmaceutical Drug Discovery and The Cure for Big Data

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Pharmaceutical drug discovery can become highly problematic when a company has over a decade worth of test data that needs to be analyzed. How can you expect to visualize 10 years of pharmaceutical test data all at once? Allergan does it everyday. All around the world, whenever people come together for holidays, festivities, and just gatherings of friends and family they unintentionally bring an uninvited guest. Sicknesses and illnesses do not take holidays and get passed on at higher rates when people come together. It’s the work of pharmaceutical companies like Allergan to work year-round to keep people as safe and healthy as possible.

Allergan is a global specialty pharmaceutical company employing more than 9,000 people worldwide at world-class discovery and development facilities, as well as state-of-the-art manufacturing plants. Even the best pharmaceutical companies need the occasional remedy to overcome that nagging business challenges that won’t go away without help. Spotfire was the remedy Allergan needed to bring in the cheer all year long.





The Research Informatics Group at Allergan supports drug discovery through medicinal chemistry, biology, and drug safety evaluation. The scientists in the group predict the potency of a compound, as well as its effectiveness and possible side effects. To perform research and analyses, the scientists need to relate chemical structures to a wide range of test results. It is very difficult to analyze this large amount of data without a graphical visualization technique. TIBCO prescribed Spotfire as a best-in-class big data analytics solution.

Allergan knew that using a tool such as Excel was the wrong medicine. Spreadsheets would only allow analysis of a few weeks worth of data and wouldn’t give that data context that uncovers key insights. The challenge was to perform analysis so quickly that experimentation cycles could happen more rapidly and conclusions reached in the shortest timeframe possible. Just as the company needs scientists and employees in top health, Allergan needed reliable analytic software and chose TIBCO Spotfire.





Spotfire provides a highly visual and interactive environment for receiving real-time information while concurrently allowing Allergan to compare 10 years of analysis. Data organization was as important as transformation and the integration of SARVision (Structure Activity Relationships software that helps visualize, mine and organize chemical data) with Spotfire was also essential. Allergan chose to mash up SARVision with Spotfire Analytics to create a powerful tool to highlight a chemical substructure and see corresponding results in any Spotfire visualization.

Spotfire enables Allergan to bring together the right data in a large, multivariate data set and make sense of it all. Allergan recognizes that a known side effect of Spotfire is improved business insight that drives capture of more opportunities.