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VC Firm Innova Invests in Computable Genomix

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Memphis, Tenn.-based biomarker development shop Computable Genomix today said that it has received an investment from venture capital firm Innova Memphis to fund a pilot study that it hopes will result in the development of pharmacogenomic tests.

The study is part of the company's efforts to move away from its former identity as a text-mining firm.

Brad Silver, CEO of Computable Genomix, declined to disclose to GenomeWeb Daily News the amount of the investment, saying only that "it's enough to do our pilot [study] to validate our process."

The study is directed at development of a computational process for creating genetic biomarker tests for clinical researchers. Once the process is validated, Computable Genomix will determine what therapies it will focus on in developing its tests, Silver said.

He added that the process being developed is drug- and disease-agnostic. "The power that we bring to the table is the power to identify genes that are explicitly related to a drug or disease … and implicity related," he said.

The process in development is based on the company's GeneIndexer technology, which uses artificial intelligence and computational linguistic methods to sift through scientific literature to identify conceptual gene relationships from titles and abstracts in MEDLINE citations. It extracts "features and relationships from the scientific literature not easily found by humans," according to Computable Genomix's website.

The study comes as Computable Genomix moves away from its former business model of providing access to GeneIndexer on a subscription basis.

"[A]fter supplying our software to several leading research institutions, we quickly recognized that development of biomarkers is the best way to extract maximum value from our very powerful discovery capability," Silver said in a statement. "Once we identified this opportunity, it came down to building and funding the biomarker development process."