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A roundup of the latest high-tech and life science news from regional firms:

• SAS receives high marks in Forrester data mining, analytics report

CARY, N.C. – A new report from analysis firm Forrester gives high marks to as well as IBM for predictive analytics and data mining.

“In Forrester’s 53-criteria evaluation of predictive analytics and data mining vendors, we found that SAS Institute, SPSS (evaluated separately from new parent IBM’s other PA/DM offerings), KXEN, Oracle, Portrait Software, and IBM (pre-SPSS acquisition PA/DM offerings) head the pack with mature, sophisticated, scalable, flexible, and robust solutions,” the report says.

“SAS leads, providing the most feature-rich solution portfolio and, through its recent expansion of enterprise data warehouse (EDW) vendor partnerships, taking the industry lead in promoting in-database analytics as an emerging best practice for high-performance analytics deployments,” Forrester adds.

For the executive summary and more information about the Forrester report,

For a press release from SAS about the report,

• Sun names Alphanumeric a ‘GROW’ winner

RALEIGH, N.C. – , an information technology services provider across the Carolinas, is one of four “Grow Revenue and Margin,” or GROW award winners, from Sun Microsystems.

The Raleigh-based firm was recognized with a :Win with New Business” GROW award for closing the most amount of new-to-Sun business between July and September of last year.

For the full announcement,

• Talecris receives orphan drug status for new product

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – (Nasdaq: TLCR) has been granted orphan drug status for the aerosol form of a treatment targeting a hereditary condition known as AAT, or congenital alpha1-antitrypsin.

There is no current inhaled treatment available for the condition that leaves patients vulernable to such diseases as emphysema.

Orphan drug status grants developers certain incentives for research and production of treatments for small numbers of patients.

For more details,