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Microsoft Joins SAFE-BioPharma Association for Creation and Management of Electronic Documents


Download of SAFE-certified reference implementation interface offered for 2007 Microsoft Office system on MSDN.

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 14, 2007 — Microsoft Corp.’s Healthcare and Life Sciences Group today announced it has joined the SAFE-BioPharma Association, a nonprofit association that created and manages the SAFE™ digital identity and signature standard for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

As a SAFE vendor partner, Microsoft has developed a SAFE signing interface capability for use with the 2007 Microsoft® Office system, effectively providing researchers, vendors, regulators and clinicians with a security-enhanced way to verify their identities when creating, managing and sending electronic documents. The reference implementation interface is available as downloadable source code on the Microsoft Developer Network (

“We are very pleased to have Microsoft further support our efforts to provide one single mechanism of authentication for the life sciences industry,” said Gary Secrest, chairman of the SAFE-BioPharma Association. “Our alliance will have a significant impact on widespread adoption and interoperability.”

With the announcement, life sciences firms will now be able to implement a SAFE-certified public key infrastructure and identity management system leveraging Microsoft software products already used in their IT environments. Because SAFE is an implementation of the X.509 standard — and is supported in Microsoft Active Directory®, Microsoft Root CA Server and the Microsoft Certificate Lifecycle Manager — companies will be able to issue, manage and authenticate using SAFE certificates and a Microsoft-based infrastructure.

With the implementation of the SAFE Signing Interface for the 2007 Microsoft Office system, companies will be able to use SAFE certificates to digitally sign documents from within the Microsoft Office system. In addition, with Open XML as the basis for the 2007 Office system, companies now have an opportunity to digitally sign documents that are standards-based, machine-readable, authored with familiar tools and ultimately verifiable.

“Microsoft is committed to the healthcare and life sciences industry, as evidenced by our participation in HL7, CDISC and other organizations. We are also committed to developing a security-enhanced way to verify identities within the healthcare and life sciences industry,” said Les Jordan, industry technology strategist for life sciences at Microsoft. “We look forward to working as a vendor partner with SAFE, and playing a significant role in providing the healthcare and life sciences industry with a technology platform with maximum security.”

About SAFE-BioPharma Association

SAFE-BioPharma Association is the non-profit association that created and manages the SAFE digital identity and signature standard for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Through the SAFE standard, the association promotes interoperability and integration among researchers, vendors, regulators, clinicians and other pharmaceutical and healthcare stakeholders. The SAFE standard provides a security-enhanced way to verify the identities of parties involved in business-to-business and business-to-regulator electronic transactions. SAFE stands for “Signatures and Authentication For Everyone.” The Association’s founder-members include AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble and Sanofi-Aventis. For more information, visit

About Microsoft in Healthcare and Life Sciences

Microsoft provides standards-based products and technology to help the healthcare and life sciences industries break down information barriers between the disparate IT environments across pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, physicians and healthcare professionals, provider organizations, government and private-sector employers, health insurers, and consumers. Microsoft’s vision for knowledge-driven health utilizes the company’s cutting-edge technology to help these groups integrate their systems, dramatically enhance collaboration, and increase information sharing and learning — ultimately resulting in the ability to deliver high-quality products and services to patients and consumers worldwide. More information about Microsoft in Healthcare and Life Sciences can be found at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, MSDN and Active Directory are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

SAFE is a trademark of SAFE-BioPharma Association. Any use of this trademark requires approval from SAFE-BioPharma Association.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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