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Swiss Firms SysMeta IT, GenomSys Collaborate on MPEG-G Data Standard for Genomics

NEW YORK – Swiss bioinformatics startup GenomSys said Tuesday that it will collaborate with laboratory software developer SysMeta IT to implement the fledgling MPEG-G genomic data compression standard at clinics and labs in Switzerland. 

SysMeta IT will integrate GenomSys' MPEG-G tools into its Tangerine Medical software for viewing and annotation of patient records and for electronic ordering of sample analysis. Notably, at the BioData World Congress in Basel, Switzerland, this week, the companies will demonstrate the ability of GenomSys' Integrative Genome Viewer application embedded into Tangerine Medical, allowing clinicians to view data on the UGT1A1 gene, which predicts efficacy of irinotecan in treating colon cancer. 

"Adding genome viewing and medical record annotation capabilities will benefit medical professionals by offering them a fully integrated view of the patient record including instant access to stored genomic data and related analysis results," SysMeta CEO Laurent Missimi said in a statement.

"The integration of genome-viewing capabilities into the medical software tools used by doctors has been hampered by the absence of efficient, streamlined data-handling technologies adapted to genomic data and to clinical use," GenomSys CEO Stéphane Doutriaux said. "With the recent introduction of [MPEG-G], new end-to-end genomic data processing tools will emerge, with plug-and-play ease of use."

Despite being an International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-approved standard for genomic data compression, MPEG-G faces an uphill battle in winning acceptance among the bioinformatics community. Academic researchers have become comfortable with several Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) file specifications and have questioned the need for a new standard like MPEG-G.