Merck releases gigantic hunk of expensive pharma data into public domain

John Wilbanks from Science Commons sez, "Merck just pledged a ton of high-resolution, very expensive data to the public domain, along with some software and other resources to make it work. It's going into a new non profit org (disclosure – I am a Board member) called Sage.

This stuff isn't going to be open on day one – it takes a while to figure out how to give things like this away, and more time to make them *useful* – but it's on the road."

Sage resulted from the realization that the needs and potentials of clinical and molecular data to inform drug development are greater than the resources or capacity of any one company or institute. Sage is a legacy of successful proof of principle work accomplished at Rosetta Inpharmatics, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. in Seattle. Core human and intellectual property resources from this effort are seeding Sage's growth. The primary output from Sage will be an open access platform available in the public domain. An incubation period of three to five years is anticipated in which new project data are generated, critical tools for building and mining disease models are developed and governing rules for sharing, accessing, and contributing to the platform are established.

Sage is a distributed research organization with nodes embedded within core academic partner facilities. Collaborating scientists from both the nonprofit and commercial sectors will contribute to projects building and using innovative new databases and tools. More detailed information will be available soon.

(Thanks, John!)