Two open-source foundations, the tranSMART Foundation and the Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside (i2b2 Foundation), in the healthcare and translational research space are merging into a single foundation to advance the field of precision medicine. These organizations provide open-source software and databases representing more than 100 million patient lives to thousands of physicians and scientists worldwide.
The tranSMART Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing a global, open-source, open-data knowledge management platform for scientists at more than 300 industry and academic institutions, and the i2b2 Foundation, a nonprofit open-source software foundation overseeing the development and governance of the i2b2 platform used by over 200 U.S. and European hospitals today announced that they have signed a Letter of Intent to merge. The merger of these two foundations will unite the clinical research community and the translational research community, to promote effective collaboration for precision medicine through the sharing, integration, standardization, and analysis of heterogeneous data from healthcare and research, and through the engagement and mobilization of a life sciences focused open-source, open-data community.
"The majority of human diseases lack a proven means for prevention or effective therapeutic intervention. Precision medicine promises to provide insights into the biological, environmental and behavioral mechanisms of disease to produce better diagnoses and treatments for the millions of individuals who need them," said Keith Elliston, Ph.D., CEO of the tranSMART Foundation. "Through this merger, we are creating a platform and community that integrates clinical data with translational research data to finally realize the promise that precision medicine has to offer—tailoring treatments to an individual's unique characteristics."
"We are looking forward to this merger with the tranSMART Foundation," said Diane Keogh, managing director of the i2b2 Foundation. "Bringing our clinical community together with tranSMART's translational research community through an integrated knowledge management infrastructure will further our mission for precision medicine and ultimately benefit the entire patient community. Our clinical scientists will benefit from the powerful analytics of the tranSMART platform and the translational research community will gain tremendous value from having access to broad spectrum of clinical data as they develop new medicines."
Together, the combined tranSMART and i2b2 foundations will enhance the synergies between their two distinct data science platforms and will further develop an integrated, open-source platform that spans the clinical and translational research domains. The new organization will build a critical mass in the life sciences community, unite the translational and clinical research communities, enhance the mission to encompass precision medicine, create efficiencies by eliminating duplication of effort, and develop a strong profile and brand for collaboration, fundraising and grants. The merged Foundation will have four ongoing projects: i2b2, tranSMART, i2b2/tranSMART and openBEL. The Foundation will develop additional open-source/open-data projects as the community further develops.