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14 November, 2023 - 12:53 By News Desk

Astex director goes under the hood of key genetics approach

Harpreet Saini, Senior Director of Informatics at Astex Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, is a keynote speaker at the Bio-IT World summit in London later this month.

She addresses ‘Gene Prioritisation Using a Genetics-Led Approach for Target Discovery of ALS’ in a plenary session on November 29 at the Royal Lancaster London.

Saini will explain that Astex, based at the Science Park, has developed a genetics-based approach that integrates functional data from GWAS, ontologies and biological networks to predict potential drug targets with evidence for disease association. 

Astex obtained a list of target genes associated with ALS and prioritised potential target genes by integrating structural information and cell-type expression data.

The work that she will present is an excellent example of using genetics and multimodal data to predict drug targets associated with ALS.

Saini says: “Our results suggest that data augmentation and integration with cell-type gene expression networks can improve performance for predicting drug targets and emphasises the importance of multi-omics data & network approaches for target prediction.”

The summit is a two-day event on November 29 and 30 and contains an insightful bioinformatics track assembling thought leaders who will present case studies using computational resources and tools that take data from multiple-omics sources and align them with clinical action.

A spokesperson for the event said: “Generating real-world data for real-world evidence solutions can lead to real-time assistance in disease prevention, prognosis, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

“With the ever-increasing volume of information generated for curing or treating diseases and cancers, bioinformatics technologies, tools, and techniques play a critical role in turning data into actionable knowledge to meet unstated and unmet medical needs.”

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