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Integromics, CEIT, CITRE Partner on Data Analysis Methods for Clinical Genomics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Integromics today announced a partnership with two Spanish organizations to develop new data analysis methods for clinical genomic studies.

In support of the work, Spain's government has awarded the partners €2 million ($2.6 million) to develop algorithms and statistical tools for identifying alternative splicing events that are associated with disease biomarkers or identifying therapeutic targets using RNA sequencing.

Together with the Celgene Institute for Translational Research Europe, or CITRE, and the Centre of Studies and Technical Research, or CEIT, Integromics will conduct a project called Sanscript that seeks to tackle current limitations in algorithms for the characterization of gene alterations.

Integromics said that because of the present limitations, "it is essential to adapt the present methods … for the new massive sequencing technologies to extract all their potential for [the] development of diagnostic and prognostic tests, and drug discovery in the clinical and pharmaceutical environment."

Sanscript-developed solutions will be validated for use in developing drugs for personalized medicine. In such processes, "gene expression is essential to [understanding] the differing responses to treatment," the company added.

Integromics Chief Strategy Officer Eduardo González Couto said in a statement that the grant provides "key financial support" for Sanscript's efforts in spearheading the use of next-generation sequencing in drug develop.

With improvements in NGS platform technologies, generating NGS data is no longer an issue, but making sense of the data is, he added.

"In order to identify the gene expression changes associated [with] sensitivity to treatment, including the detailed characterization of transcription isoforms for clinical usage, bioinformatics tools are crucially needed to design novel algorithms from the very beginning to be compatible with long reads from upcoming NGS technologies," Couto said.

Integromics, with offices in Madrid and Granada, Spain, as well as Madison, Wis., develops and markets data analysis solutions for the life sciences. CITRE, headquartered in Seville, Spain, is a wholly owned subsidiary of biopharmaceutical company Celgene. CEIT, based in San Sebastián, Spain, collaborates with industry on applied industrial research projects.