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More News and Products from #BioIT16



April 8, 2016 | BOSTON—This week’s Bio-IT World Conference & Expo in Boston was a packed three days of rich content, industry news, and product announcements. We highlighted some of the early event announcements on the first day. Here is some of the news from the second half of this week.

--The Editors

The Broad Institute has teamed up with Intel, AWS, Cloudera, Google, IBM, and Microsoft to enable cloud-based access to the GATK as part of GATK4, the next generation of the toolkit. The GATK Best Practices pipeline will be available to users of cloud service providers through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) mechanism, expanding access beyond traditional desktop solutions in hopes of fueling new insights into disease and treatment. Press release

In addition, the Broad and Intel announced two tools that will be integrated with GATK so that large genomic workflows can run at cloud scale. Broad’s workflow execution engine, called “Cromwell”, is designed to launch genomic pipelines on private or public clouds in a portable and reproducible manner. Broad is working with Intel to extend Cromwell’s capabilities to support multiple input languages and execute on multiple back ends simultaneously, enabling researchers to run jobs anywhere. ‘GenomicsDB’ is a novel way to store vast amounts of patient variant data and to perform fast processing with unprecedented scalability. Built and optimized for the management of genomic variant data, GenomicsDB runs on top of an array database system optimized for sparse data called ‘TileDB.’ Press release

Bluebee, a leading provider of high-performance genomics solutions, has deployed high-speed file transfer solutions from Aspera, an IBM company, running on the IBM Cloud and integrated directly into the Bluebee genome analytics platform. Aspera, a Bio-IT World Best of Show finalist, enables data transfers that reduce the end-to-end turnaround time of computational data analysis, allowing Bluebee to deliver results to clients significantly faster and more efficiently than was previously possible. Press release

Human Longevity, Inc., winner of the Bio-IT World Best Practices Judges’ Prize, announced several key promotions and additions to the company’s senior leadership team this week. Kenneth Bloom, M.D., will assume the role of President of HLI. Bloom joined the company to head the oncology product area and to oversee laboratory operations. He will continue to oversee these areas and will lead all product development and commercialization as well as laboratory functions and operations. He reports directly to J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., HLI Co-founder and CEO. Ashley Van Zeeland, Ph.D., who joined HLI after the company’s acquisition of Cypher Genomics, will now serve as Chief Technology Officer. In this role she will lead the development and commercialization of all software and database products and continue to enhance and refine the commercial genomic pipeline for HLI. Since joining HLI in November, Van Zeeland has been focused on leading the pediatric and rare disease group at HLI as well as integrating the Cypher software into HLI. Tom Wamberg has joined HLI as President of the company’s Insurance and Corporate Business Group. Press release

Panasas announced the appointment of Raji Krishnaswami as director of the Asia Pacific-Japan (APJ) region. Krishnaswami, based in Tokyo, Japan, will be responsible for expanding Panasas’ presence across the region, focusing on growth in media and entertainment (M&E) as well as life science, research and education markets. Press release

The tranSMART Foundation has launched its annual Corporate Sponsorship Program and signed GeneDx (a business unit of OPKO Health, Inc.) and Rancho BioSciences as 2016 Platinum Corporate Sponsors. The new program offers organizations increased visibility within the tranSMART community and provides the necessary funding for the Foundation to host a variety of events throughout the year.

IDBS announced that it is deploying its E-Workbook solution as software-as-a-service (SaaS) for organizations globally. The move signals a commitment to delivering its enterprise research and development (R&D) platform in the Cloud. E-WorkBook is an enterprise web-based platform which makes it simple for researchers to collaborate and share data. Delivering IP protection and streamlined workflow and process management, it is complemented by IDBS’ modular solutions including Connect, a secure portal for collaborating with external partners and Inventory for streamlining the management of samples, material and equipment. New modules, which will further enhance the platform, are currently in development and can be expected later this year.

Ipsen, a global specialty-driven pharmaceutical, has chosen Dassault Systemes’ BIOVIA's “Designed to Cure” industry solution experience to accelerate its research and development (R&D) transformation and discovery of new therapeutic solutions. The platform offers data integration, modeling and simulation capabilities to gain a more comprehensive view of the dysregulations linked to diseases as well as improves and shortens the identification of higher quality drug candidates. The project also aims to optimize the R&D processes of Ipsen’s multi-disciplinary teams worldwide.

QIAGEN Bioinformatics demonstrated two collaborative solutions at Bio-IT World. QIAGEN’s collaboration with Intel developed a reference architecture designed to produce high-volume whole genome data analysis, keeping up with the world’s highest-capacity sequencers, helping NGS scientists keep their sequencing pipelines running smoothly and efficiently. This offering leverages QIAGEN’s CLC Genomics Server software on a compute cluster of 32 Intel Xeon processor E5 family based nodes. It provides built-in analysis tools, scalability, fast connection and parallel storage, using Intel Enterprise Edition for Lustre, the world’s largest parallel storage system. BioTeam and QIAGEN’s proof-of-concept appliance packages CLC Genomics Server with the BioTeam Appliance scientific computing platform to provide a cost-effective, high-performance offering. The flexible, customizable solution delivers a system that maps the computational requirements of the CLC Bio software to an infrastructure that complements its capabilities. Press release

Sinequa has joined the Cognitive Computing Consortium, a professional organization that fosters discussion and research in cognitive computing. As a founding sponsor, Sinequa will collaborate on the organization's research and participate in the development of industry definitions and standards. The Cognitive Computing Consortium provides a forum for researchers, developers and practitioners of cognitive computing and its allied technologies. It comprises a cross-industry group of organizations and individuals from the IT, academic and analyst communities. "Sinequa was one of the first vendors to realize the need for unifying access to all kinds of data through a single, easy-to-use interface. Unified access is a precursor to cognitive computing, with the same vision of making information access broader and easier for more users," said Sue Feldman, Co-Founder of the Cognitive Computing Consortium and CEO and Founder of Synthexis in a press release.

SwiftStack announced deployments at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, and Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Joe Arnold, chief product officer and co-founder of SwiftStack, summarized the need for these bioinformatics organizations to address the twin goals of innovating in research and overcoming limits of legacy infrastructure.  “The rapid innovation in genomic sequencing is generating data at a rate that has outpaced the falling costs of traditional storage. With petabyte-scale the new norm, object storage is the only approach that both addresses cost and enables researchers to use tagging with metadata to improve their data management,” Arnold said in a press release.

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