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Sema4, GNS Healthcare Collaborate on Machine Learning for Therapy Discovery

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Health information company Sema4 said today that it plans to leverage GNS Healthcare's machine learning and simulation platform in its drug discovery and development pipelines.

The companies plan to first focus on discovering the underlying drivers of cardiovascular disease and identifying existing drugs to treat it as well as opportunities for developing novel therapies.

Sema4 spun out of the Mount Sinai Health System earlier this month and plans to build on the genomic tests offered out of Mt. Sinai, and expand its services nationally. The Stamford, Connecticut-based firm said it would use GNS Healthcare's Reverse Engineering and Forward Simulation (REFS) platform, which can turn patient data streams into mechanistic computer models. The models can help identify new pathways, drug targets, and diagnostic markers, according to the company.

Sema4 and GNS also plan to collaborate on incorporating longitudinal electronic medical records, next-generation sequencing, proteomics, and other omics data in the REFS platform.

"This is an exciting collaboration that will accelerate our understanding of disease mechanisms," Eric Schadt, Sema4 CEO, said in a statement. He added that the "ultimate goal" of the collaboration is to develop "individualized and life-saving treatments for patients across many diseases."

GNS CCO Iya Khalil said that the firm's "causal machine learning and simulation technology gives clinicians and researchers the power to simulate billions of 'what-if' interventions, making complex disease systems understandable, and brings the promise of precision medicine within reach of patients everywhere."