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Full cycle ‘omics’ analysis platform: from sequencing data to meaningful results

Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Reference Number: TOUK20161006001
Publication Date: 6 October 2016

Summary

An East of England company has made a great leap forward to make genomic and other ‘omics’ data more useable. The users can look at the results from a perspective in an interactive and visual way, without any need for data cleansing or coding (developers can still build tools). This allows for quick decision making. SMEs and large companies are sought for licensing agreements.

Description

The benefits of utilising the power of DNA sequencing, including personalised medicine, have not arrived as fast as hoped. Initially, it was the expensive technology used to produce the raw data that was slowing down the introduction of genomics into everyday life. Nowadays, with sequencing costs dropping below $1000 per genome, it is the overwhelming amount of data and lack of apppropriate tools to handle the analysis that are slowing down the process. 

Before sequencing machinery became as powerful as it is today, the amount of data produced was manageable by bioinformaticians alone. Those are the specialists combining the knowledge of biology and informatics that are able to write programmes and applications that analyse genomic data. Many of the platforms and tools that emerged with the sequencing boom have been developed for this group: those platforms required coding skills and did not have a great user interface. These tools are not sufficient anymore: with the exponential growth of the amount of sequencing data produced, there is a pressing need for solutions that can be used by scientists who do not possess computational skills.

An East of England company developed a system aimed at end-users: researchers, healthcare professionals, lab workers. The platform brings together powerful data and visual analytics, intelligent data management system and the highest levels of security. The system can be used anywhere: on cloud, on a laptop, or on a piece of hardware.

The platform has been used by a range of industries, from healthcare and pharma to consumer goods and agriculture. It is used to target universal problems of R&D units: difficulties with describing, tracking and searching data. For many of the clients, the company has developed custom tools to better answer their needs.

Their secret to success lies in a couple of factors. Firstly, the platform is data-centric. This means that they put a lot of effort into making user data searchable and usable, focus on describing the data well and allowing users to work on public and private data seamlessly. Secondly, a lot of effort has gone into the user interface that is very intuitive and coding-agnostic, meaning users do not need any specialist training to use the platform.

The platform can be accessed in two ways: there is a free cloud-based subscription available for the research community and non-commercial users and an enterprise version of the platform. Users of the enterprise versions benefit, amongst other things, from expanded collaboration options, running the platform anywhere (not only on the cloud) as well as customisation and training options.

The East of England company is seeking licensing agreements with SMEs and large companies alike. They are flexible in terms of technical involvement in client projects. Interested parties are welcome to present use cases that have been slowed down for some reason, and jointly discuss the technical solutions. The UK company will remain for such support over the long term.
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Advantages and Innovations

The platform, or operating system, has been built to manage, analyse and share genomic data. It is an intelligent platform based on ‘smart files’ – fully described biological objects that interact with the OS and help users in their analysis. The platform allows users to look at their results from a perspective: comparing their analysis with their previous results as well as any relevant public analyses. All routine tasks (such as file re-formatting) are automated, allowing users to focus on research, rather than data grooming. Great effort has been put into making the platform intuitive and interactive, to make it accessible for untrained users.

Stage Of Development

Already on the market

Requested partner

Type of partner sought: industry.
Specific activity: biotechnology and bioinformatics researchers in both small and large companies are sought.
The East of England company is seeking licensing agreements. They are flexible in terms of technical involvement in client projects. There is a large pool of tools already available. The UK company will help the users to choose the best combination, and provide technical support to get user projects or new developments up and running. Interested parties are welcome to present use cases that have been slowed down for some reason, and jointly discuss the technical solutions.

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