Cambridge sweeps board at US bio innovation showcase
Cambridge UK companies dominated the innovation awards at a US biotechnology showcase with four winners and one runner-up out of 46 global technologies judged.
Eagle Genomics, PetaGene, Dassault Systems (BIOVIA) and Illumina all won their categories against world-class rivals at the Bio-IT World Best of Show competition in Boston. Genestack, received an honourable mention in the Informatics Tools & Data Analysis category.
Eagle Genomics, a life sciences smart data management company, won the Knowledge Management category with its eaglediscover product, launched and showcased at the conference.
Eagle demonstrated a novel insight on the world’s largest public cancer patient records, the International Cancer Genome Consortium data. ICGC is a public resource used globally by scientists to understand and find cures for cancer. Eagle Genomics’ analysis enabled a ranking of the most valuable projects according to their scientific value.
Eaglediscover directly enables pharmaceutical and biotech R & D executives and scientists to most effectively exploit their scientific data (internal, collaborator, and public data). It can be deployed as either a public, private or as a hybrid cloud-based solution.
“We were tremendously excited and honoured to be recognised at Bio-IT World with the prestigious Best of Show Award,” said Abel Ureta-Vidal, Eagle’s founder and CEO.
PetaGene won the Optimizing Speed & Storage category with its Peta Suite 1.0 technology. PetaSuite is a set of complementary software tools that significantly reduce the size and cost of NGS data for storage and transfer.
It lets researchers and clinicians continue using their FASTQ, BAM, and CRAM files in their existing tools and pipelines, but benefit from a reduced backend storage footprint. It can integrate into most existing storage infrastructures to provide transparent compression. Unlike generic storage software, PetaSuite understands the internals of genomics files.
Dan Greenfield, co-founder and CEO of PetaGene, said: “We are excited to help research and diagnostic organisations by making their unwieldy genomics data smaller, faster and better, reducing their costs and even speeding up their collaboration and analysis.”
Genestack received an honourable mention in the Informatics Tools & Data Analysis segment for its Genestack Platform – a universal enterprise-level genomics applications platform.
It is a next generation operating system for big data problems, designed to run on heterogeneous compute architectures (cloud, cluster, PC, custom hardware), with bioinformatics-specific features.
It helps build interactive applications and flexible computational pipelines within a secure collaborative ecosystem. Genestack includes numerous computational pipelines for common workflows.
The company indexes public data from repositories worldwide and maps it to major ontologies. The data browser can search data across private and public domains.
In a separate announcement, Genestack revealed that it has partnered with the Cancer Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory (CMDL) – an organisation involving Cancer Research UK, the University of Cambridge, the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust and the Medical Research Council – to bring advanced genomic technologies into clinical practice.
The collaboration will see Genestack’s platform used as the basis for incorporating advanced genomic technologies into clinical practice. The collaboration will focus on using next generation sequencing to develop a fast ‘sequence to report’ solution for the prognosis and post-treatment monitoring of bone marrow transplant patients. By bringing next generation sequencing to clinical practice, researchers will improve patient care, and save time and money, the partner organisations say.
Cambridge Science Park-based BIOVIA won the In Silico Futures Award at the Boston show for its The Living Heart Model (LHM).
The LHM contains well-defined anatomic details including internal structures (e.g., heart valves, chordae tendineae, coronary arteries and veins) and proximal vasculature (e.g., aortic arch, pulmonary trunk, and SVC).
Muscle fibre orientations, which vary across the surface and thickness of the heart, are included as are anatomically accurate representations of special cardiac electrical channels.
Cardiac contraction is driven by waves of electrical excitation travelling across the heart to generate physiologically observed wave propagation patterns.
Illumina, which is scaling fast in Cambridge, won the People's Choice Award with its BaseSpace Suite – a comprehensive, streamlined and fully integrated informatics solution to support end-to-end genomic sequencing.