LifeMap Sciences, Inc., a subsidiary of BioTime, Inc., announced a collaborative partnership and value-added reseller agreement with Appistry, Inc., which provides big-data computing that supports life-science and medical analytics at hospitals and medical research centers and organizations. The intent of the partnership is to integrate LifeMap’s GeneCards® and MalaCards databases of human genes and diseases into the DNA and RNA sequence analysis outputs and reports produced by Appistry’s leading-edge Ayrris™ computing environment. Appistry will market reports that include the GeneCards® and MalaCards data to clinicians and researchers under a revenue share arrangement with LifeMap, based on sales of such reports.
Current U.S. annual spending on genetic testing and molecular diagnostics according to a UnitedHealthcare 2012 report ( http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/~/media/UHG/PDF/2012/UNH-Working-Paper-7.ashx) is at least $3-$4 billion annually. Today’s healthcare eco-system is increasingly dependent on genetic testing and molecular diagnostics, particularly as the advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have enabled a substantial reduction in the costs associated with gene sequencing, enabling rapid sequencing of the DNA of individual patients. Labs and hospitals cite analysis of NGS data as a primary bottleneck to leveraging genetic information to better diagnose disease, assess treatment options, and develop the targeted therapies that will enable personalized medicine, an expanding field in which medical decisions, practices, and therapeutic products are being tailored to the individual patient based on their own genes.
Appistry’s Ayrris™ computing environment supports the rapid assembly of complex, data-intensive analytics that run a customer’s choice of open-source, commercial, and proprietary tools at scale without requiring specialized expertise in high-performance computing or a complex software development effort. Under the partnership, Appistry will deliver access to data from LifeMap’s GeneCards® and MalaCards databases within the pipeline results and personalized medicine reports provided by its Ayrris™ life science solutions and services. GeneCards®, the human gene compendium, provides concise genomic information on all known and predicted human genes, including gene-disease associations, variants and single nucleotide polymorphisms, gene function and other fields of interest. MalaCards, the human disease database, contains information relating to a wide array of human diseases and the roles of genes in disease processes. LifeMap Sciences holds the exclusive worldwide license to market GeneCards® and MalaCards from Yeda Research and Development Company Ltd., the commercial arm of the Weizmann Institute of Science.
“One of the biggest limitations on using next-generation sequencing in clinical settings is the ability to effectively translate raw sequence data into medically meaningful results,” said Kevin Haar, CEO of Appistry. “To realize the promise of personalized medicine, organizations need to scale their bioinformatics pipelines to handle thousands of patient cases, while also providing information physicians can act on. Our partnership with LifeMap enables medical researchers to extend their analytic processes to deliver a better understanding of the biological pathways and disease states associated with genetic samples.”
“We expect LifeMap Sciences to be the leading source of gene and disease information for clinicians and patients in the rapidly growing fields of molecular diagnostics, prevention and personalized medicine,” said David Warshawsky, Ph.D., CEO of LifeMap. “The combination of GeneCards® and MalaCards comprehensive gene and disease related knowledge with the end-to-end NGS analysis workflow offered by Appistry will greatly enhance the potential for improved diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of devastating conditions.”