By Bio-IT World Staff
April 27, 2012 | Bio-IT World’s 10th Anniversary Conference and Expo wrapped up yesterday in Boston. With a record-breaking more than 2,500 attendees, the event was packed with great speakers and events. Here’s a roundup of some of the announcements and stories to come out of the event and elsewhere over the past month.
Bioinformatics.org awarded the Benjamin Franklin Award to Heng Li of the Broad Institute for his work on open access in the life sciences.
This was a big week for BGI. In addition to winning a Bio-IT World Best Practices Award for their Green Cloud, the world’s largest genomics organization introduced its latest-generation cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, EasyGenomics, on Tuesday. EasyGenomics allows scientists to easily access data-heavy omics-related research with rapid turnaround time, reliable results, real-time data monitoring, and a user-friendly interface. EasyGenomics integrates various popular next generation sequencing (NGS) analysis workflows including whole genome resequencing, exome resequencing, RNA-Seq, small RNA, de novo assembly, among others. EasyGenomics will deploy the Aspera Connect Server and Aspera fasp high-speed file transferring technology. Aspera’s Connect Server enables high speed sequencing data import/export, while fasp is integrated directly in to the web portal using the rich APIs available through the Aspera Developer Network (ADN).
BT announced BT for Life Sciences R&D, a cloud environment specifically tailored to the needs of life sciences with a focus on security, speed, and productivity, said Jeremy Griggs, BT’s head of industry solutions. The first public partner in the BT cloud is Accelrys, which is making its workbench software available through BT for Life Sciences. BT announced Berg Pharma as an early adopter, and demonstrated the capabilities along with a fancy Siri interface at Wednesday morning’s keynote.
Illumina introduced BaseSpace Apps, a dedicated applications store for BaseSpace, the Company's genomics cloud computing platform. Informatics solutions available through BaseSpace Apps will allow customers to connect with a growing community of academic, commercial and open source tool providers who are building applications around Illumina data to dramatically simplify and accelerate genomic data analysis.
Demartek tested the Nimbus S-Class multiprotocol flash system and the results, announced on Tuesday, were impressive. The testing also validated Nimbus' support for VMware Storage APIs for Array Integration. These results are just part of Nimbus Data's efforts and leadership role in solving the challenging IO requirements of today's mission critical applications with the only unified all-flash platform (see, No Spin Zone: Nimbus Launches E Class Flash Storage).
The Intellectual Property & Science division of Thomson Reuters has announced the launch of its Partner Ecosystem for the life sciences market, a new initiative aimed at enabling access to the company’s life sciences information through application-specific solutions developed with third-party partners. IDBS and Thomson Reuters have integrated their technology through the IDBS ScienceLink scientific content brokerage platform, enabling researchers to access the industry’s most trusted and accurate scientific content from Thomson Reuters Integrity, combined with the intuitive delivery methods of the Cortellis Targets API (see, Thomson Reuters Releases APIs for Cortellis Life Sciences Platform) from within E-WorkBook Suite.
DecisionView has been acquired by IMS Health. IMS will integrate its market-leading health outcomes, provider and anonymized patient data assets with DecisionView’s advanced optimization technology, predictive analytics and performance data gathered from more than 1,200 clinical studies across 90+ countries. This combination will enable clinical trial sponsors and research organizations, for the first time, to base vital site selection and patient enrollment decisions on global, real-world data and benchmarks.
The Pistoia Alliance announced the winner of the Pistoia Alliance Sequence Squeeze Competition. James Bonfield, a member of the sequence informatics team at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, received the $15,000 prize for developing the best new algorithm for compressing next-generation sequencing (NGS) data. Bonfield received his prize on behalf of a prestigious judging panel comprising representatives from the BGI, Broad Institute, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and the Pistoia Alliance. Labs rely on compression to enable them to store data from NGS runs, which includes sequencing reads and associated quality scores. Yet compression technologies are themselves faltering under the data volumes produced by NGS. The Pistoia Alliance Sequence Squeeze Competition encouraged anyone with expertise in data compression to tackle this problem.
Convey Computer and CLC bio announced the integration of CLC bio's enterprise genomics analysis platform with Convey’s leading edge, hybrid-core servers [PDF]. Recently deployed at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Braunschweig, Germany, the new Convey-CLC bio solution substantially accelerates and extends HZI’s ability to manage and analyze next generation sequencing (NGS) data.
The Centre of Excellence for the Prevention of Organ Failure (PROOF Centre)—a past Bio-IT World Best Practices Award winner—is working with Adiga Life Sciences to develop better ways of monitoring the effectiveness of novel allergy vaccines through a discovery project aimed at identifying blood-based proteomic and genomic biomarkers. These biomarkers will enhance current understanding of how allergy vaccines work, and will guide the development of molecular tests for the diagnosis and management of allergic rhinitis.
SoftGenetics and Mayo Clinic are collaborating on a comprehensive database, which will present to clinical researchers and geneticists the results of next generation sequencing and quality metrics, as well as prediction information from various databases and historical conclusions in a single interactive view. The workbench will be designed to accept sequencing data from all sequencing platforms, contain easily accessible relevant sequencing quality control information and allow individual institutions to input historical conclusions for future reference.
Astellas Pharma and Drais Pharmaceuticals have entered into a uniquely structured partnership [PDF] to develop and commercialize an Astellas compound. As part of the agreement, Astellas will transfer ownership of ASP3291, a melanocortin receptor agonist for the potential treatment of ulcerative colitis, from its pipeline to Telsar Pharma, Inc., a virtual company that will be operated by the Drais executive team. All Telsar development activities will be handled by the Drais executive team, which has substantial clinical development experience.
Genome Designs, custom genome annotation and metabolic modeling service provider, has announced a partnership with SciDM Group, a bioinformatics tools developer. Genome Designs will be using SciDM Group's high performance database engine, transcriptomics data processing pipeline, and high throughput sequence comparison technology. The tools will be used to augment Genome Designs' existing genome annotation pipelines and to boost custom software development projects for clients.