An agreement to design a drug discovery and development informatics system was announced Wednesday by Agilent Technologies Inc. and IBM Corp.

The companies will collaborate to make Somers, N.Y.-based IBM’s DiscoveryLink data integration technology compatible with the new Agilent Synapsia Informatics Workbench family of software products. Synapsia is designed to help researchers synthesize and share research knowledge.

The combined Agilent and IBM technologies will enable researchers to access and perform queries against a broad range of biological and chemical data from diverse sources and in different types of files and formats, including text, images, numeric files, and relational databases, the companies said.

The partnership will help researchers design better drugs and get them to market faster, said Chris van Ingen, senior vice-president of Agilent’s Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis Business in Palo Alto, Calif.

Using DiscoveryLink, researchers can search diverse data sources, such as relational databases and public bioinformatics and genomics databases, the companies said.

Through its federated approach to data management, DiscoveryLink can perform complex searches quickly and efficiently, and deliver results in a consolidated, consistent format, leaving the original data and its underlying structure intact.