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TruGenomix, BlueBee Partner on Biomarker Development for PTSD Risk Assessment

NEW YORK – TruGenomix and BlueBee said today they have forged a strategic partnership in the area of biomarker discovery and development for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The companies noted that the global COVID-19 pandemic may create a mental health crisis including an uptick in PTSD cases, underscoring the importance of methods for early identification of the condition. Current survey-based methods can be subjective, creating a need for unbiased genomic and data-driven technologies, the partners said.

Rockville, Maryland-based TruGenomix graduated from the Illumina Accelerator in 2018 with a focus on genomic-based diagnostics for precision treatment of mental health. Under the new partnership, it will work with omics data-analysis firm BlueBee to discover and develop biomarkers for risk assessment for PTSD and other behavioral health conditions.

Specifically, BlueBee is set up to optimize data flow from initial discovery through to clinical reporting, and its platform will be used to aggregate, train, and model DNA, RNA, and methylation data alongside patient data and metadata from TruGenomix, the companies said.

"In the first phase of the project, we are configuring BlueBee's advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities for TruGenomix, which will both accelerate insight generation and lay the foundation for an industrial-scale, clinical-grade data operation," Vlad-Mihai Sima, head of R&D at BlueBee, said in a statement.

"For something as complex as human behavioral and mental health, a data strategy must be at the core of R&D," Tshaka Cunningham, cofounder and CSO of TruGenomix, noted in a statement. "Leveraging BlueBee to power our data operations, analytics, and evolving insights from rich data sets enables us to stay focused on our science and clinical assay validation."

San Mateo, California-based BlueBee has previously worked on sequencing data-analysis projects with Pacific Biosciences, New England Biolabs, and Menarini Silicon Biosystems.