Precision for Medicine Transforms Big Data Into Actionable Information
By Paul Nicolaus
March 2, 2016 | As big data solutions and the businesses behind them have staked their claim within the healthcare arena, a Bethesda, Md.-based company has taken precise aim at capitalizing on the explosion of immunotherapies within the oncology space.
Precision for Medicine will formally launch its immuno-analytics platform solution in March of 2016. Its PATH Immunomics suite of advanced analytics solutions and data exploration tools are geared toward the rapid analysis and full visualization of complex cell-based assays, including flow cytometry and multiplexed ELISA biomarkers.
The new platform add-on is the latest development for the company initially founded in 2012 with a focus on offering services and infrastructure to life sciences companies developing new products in the age of precision medicine. It builds upon its PATH analytics platform that was introduced in the first quarter of 2015 to help clients use clinical and genomic information in order to stratify patients and develop tailored therapies.
With a customer base that includes pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies across the board, from top 15 and mid-size pharma to traditional biotech and now even some adoption in the diagnostic space, Precision for Medicine prides itself on a 100% retention rate for first-time PATH adopters, whether it’s for full-scale engagement or a new pilot project.
“PATH is a predictive analytics engine and knowledge generation platform that ultimately provides researchers in the precision medicine space with a tool to accelerate the research and development process, as well as the decision making process, around biomarker-guided drug development,” said Scott Marshall, Precision for Medicine’s Managing Director for Biomarker and IVD Analytics.
The robust cloud-based solution is specifically engineered and optimized for the integration of high-throughput, high-content ‘omics data. Users can interact with data in real time, integrate public and proprietary datasets, and even explore hypothetical scenarios. According to Marshall, there are two elements that set PATH apart from similar products.
“We really believe that our series of predictive analytics engines is something novel in and of itself,” he said, noting that the analytics engines have been optimized to address the challenge of high-throughput data in the context of small sample sizes. “We feel that is valuable because rather than waiting for later phase trials to really pull out valuable data, we can start to do that in much earlier phase trials and with much smaller sample sizes.”
In addition, the web app provides a tool that allows researchers and diagnostic developers to harness the value of the information flowing out of the predictive analytics engines. Interactive data visualization brings the information to life, so to speak, and makes predictive analytics more accessible.
Embracing the Revolution
“A lot of this is predicated on the concept of the genomic revolution and more broadly of the ‘omics revolution,” said Marshall. “As there has been more and more access to computational power, this has really made it easier for researchers and clinicians and translational scientists to obtain as well as analyze data that ultimately leads to the development of target therapies.”
This whole idea of precision medicine is still in its infancy. “More and more of what we see in drug development is that the future of medicine really lies in biomarker data drug development and precision medicine efforts,” he explained. “We don’t see it as a fad. We see it more than anything as becoming the standard for drug development.”
And from the company’s vantage point, that means there’s only going to be further opportunity moving forward. “We have an extremely scalable, flexible platform that can grow and evolve as the industry does as well,” Marshall added.