Accelrys Inc., a San Diego maker of software that helps scientific and research and development companies manage data, said Jan. 3 that it acquired privately held VelQuest Corp. for $35 million in cash.

VelQuest, based in Hopkinton, Mass., is a maker of software systems for pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. The software aids in lab information management and execution, and electronic data capture, helping manufacturers improve efficiency and reduce compliance risks, the company said.

Accelrys said all key members of VelQuest’s management have been retained, including President and CEO Ken Rapp.

Accelrys said it expects the acquisition to be slightly dilutive to full-year 2012 operating income per share, but the company won’t provide detailed 2012 guidance until it announces its 2011 fourth-quarter results.

Traded on Nasdaq under ACCL, shares were up 17 cents in midday trading Jan. 3 to $6.89, and have ranged from $5.68 to $8.90 in the past 52 weeks.

— Mike Allen