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Saul

Saul Marquez, Host at Outcomes Rocket Podcast

What 2021 holds for Biotech, AI, and Genomics

Wednesday May 12th 2021

What 2021 holds for Biotech, AI, and Genomics

Gloved hand holding a tube with blood

 

The past decades have seen a rise in the use of genomic data for diagnosis and treatment. 

With 25 to 30 million Americans suffering from rare diseases, and 18.2 million adults with coronary heart disease, we need all the help we can get.

One company committed to delivering purpose-filled insights to transform therapies is Genuity Science. 

 

The Pathway of Genomic Data and Research 

 

Genuity Science is a data insights company partnering with global biopharma companies to offer deep end-to-end discovery services aimed at catalyzing precision health and improving the quality of life for patients around the world.

The company offers four solutions, namely Omni Data and Insights, GOR Platform, AI for Genomics, and Single Cell Sequencing. 

Omni Data and Insights leverages disease-specific clinical omics datasets to accelerate drug target identification, validation, and biomarker discovery. Genuity Science assures that all participant data are pseudonymized and strictly access controlled and ensures that compliance to the highest standards of data protection and privacy are followed. 

GOR stands for Genomically Ordered Relational Database, and it has robust tools for mining and analyzing massive genomic datasets. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Genomics is the AI Lab headed by Tom Chittenden, Ph.D., DPhil, PStat, and his team skilled in applying AI algorithms to show novel patterns and causal dependencies that can advance understanding in biology. Through this solution, companies can receive leading-edge data analysis that will allow them to speed up the discovery and development of drugs.

Single Cell Sequencing is the sequencing of a single-cell genome. If you are looking for a partner to do high-quality scRNAseq assays, Genuity’s laboratory offers full workflow support from sample preparation through analysis. The bioinformatics team utilizes 10x Genomics Cell Ranger software to offer clarity and resolution into the cell types present in your samples. 

For more information on the different solutions, please visit the website and click on Solutions. 

In our podcast interview with Dr. Tom Chittenden, he explained more about Genuity Science. 

“We’re applying artificial intelligence machine learning techniques, arguably the most advanced technology in human history, to advance our collective understanding of human biology to better understand the disease,” he said. “I think that’s what differentiates us from the rest of the pack, is that we have to fully understand human disease before we can start building more effective therapeutics.”

Genuity Science has taken genomics research one step further. In the past six years, it has figured out how to build in probabilistic programming or causal inference. It’s not trying to find what correlates human diseases. Instead, it focuses on finding or building techniques that can identify drivers of disease.

 

Adding Value to the Pharma Chain

 

According to Dr. Chittenden, in 2015, the total revenue of the pharmaceutical industry was $1.2 trillion. $150 billion of that was spent on Research and Development. Seventy-five percent of that, or about $112 billion can be attributed to failed clinical trials. He believes that the reason the studies are failing is because they don’t fully understand human biology. 

“If we can identify the drivers, what’s driving cellular behavior and dictating phenotype, we can right the ship, then we can build more effective therapeutics,” Tom shared.

Through AI and machine learning, the Genuity team has already made successful discoveries. In a virtual presentation in January, Robert Lumsden, Director of Business Development highlighted the following key points Genuity Science brings to clinical trials:

  • Genomics medicine can stratify patient responses so trials can be kept smaller, shorter, and more efficient
  • Save millions of dollars in clinical development
  • Improve response rates
  • Facilitate drug repurposing
  • Salvage failed drugs

(For the full video, please visit https://genuitysci.com/videos/accelerating-drug-development-through-improved-gene-disease-association-using-large-scale-real-world-datasets/)

 

Reversing Diseases

 

Genomics has made it possible to diagnose and treat diseases precisely. Dr. Chittenden explains that Genuity Science has done more than precision targeting. 

“What we were able to do is apply the AI in a disease state or cardiovascular disease state called atherosclerosis, and the manifestation of that in many different forms. We were able to … not only inhibit atherosclerotic plaque development in mice, but we were also actually able to reverse it. Everything that we learned from the 2019 study, we were able to apply that in a longitudinal experimental design. So, we were looking at how cells differentiate or change over time and we were able to reverse thoracic aortic aneurysm.”

This year, the company is working with collaborators to look at the molecular drivers of COVID-19 and they’ve uncovered a very complex disease associated with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and were able to block the virus from getting into the cell. Because it is blocked, the virus can’t mess with how the cell behaves. 

This is an exciting discovery because it can significantly change the way we handle COVID-19, as well as save time and expenses in dealing with the disease. 

The project is at its very early stage, and there’s still much work to be done. 

 

Strategic Collaborations 

 

Early this year, Genuity Science signed a research collaboration with Emory University to develop its population clinicogenomic database, initially focusing on neurodegenerative disease. The database can enable research with pharma and biotech partners and be used in patient stratification for clinical trial optimization in Genuity Science’s research efforts. This partnership will greatly accelerate Emory University’s academic research effort and provide Genuity Science with powered cohorts to allow discoveries beyond the usual suspects of disease genes. 

Last year, Genuity Science also partnered with Ionis Pharmaceuticals and Nashville Biosciences to accelerate drug discovery and development. 

Genomics is a game-changer in transforming healthcare,” Tom notes. “What we’re doing is that these technologies are actually going to lead to the ramification of human disease. So maybe not in my lifetime at 58, but in my granddaughter’s lifetime, my six-year-old granddaughter’s lifetime, we are going to see some major breakthroughs with our understanding of human biology. We can’t do anything until we understand biology first and then how we address disease.”

Genuity Science continues to collaborate with experts across different diseases to uncover novel insights that improve the drug discovery and development process, which can help to find new cures, lower overall development costs, and improve patient outcomes. Backed by a global team of 80 scientists in molecular biology, population genomics, oncology, neurology, computational biology, systems biology, clinical genetics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, this data insights company can help treat diseases more precisely and personally than ever.

To listen to my full interview with Dr. Chittenden, visit https://outcomesrocket.health/genuityscience/2021/04/.

Saul
Written By

Saul Marquez

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