Biomax Informatics said this week that it will invest nearly €1 million over the next four years to enable its bioinformatics infrastructure support mental health applications.
The company said that the European Commission will co-finance this move, providing €650,000 as part of METSY (BI 9/20/2013), an EU-based consortium that’s studying links between lipid metabolism, psychotic disorders, and metabolic co-morbidities such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes with the goal of locating possible diagnostic biomarkers of psychosis. The consortium tapped Biomax to build a semantic knowledge base using image data and molecular pathways identified in the various psychosis studies.
Specifically, the company is using its BioXM Knowledge Management Environment to "integrate and explore existing knowledge sources about brain structure and function, extend them with information about psychosis and genetic factors derived from the BioLT literature mining software, and combine them with data generated within the METSY project." This includes brain imaging metabolite profiling, and clinical data from approximately 500 patients recruited at four sites in Spain, the United Kingdom, and Finland.
The resulting network of information, the company said, can be used to identify and evaluate multi-modal blood and neuroimaging biomarkers for predicting and monitor psychotic disorders like schizophrenia in the context of metabolic diseases. After validation, the knowledge base can be used to build a decision support system that will bring the results directly into clinical practice.