Seven Bridges Genomics U.K. will receive approximately $2.9 million to complete and launch the world’s first functional Graph Genome reference and suite of related tools, thanks to a Small Business Research Initiative grant from the U.K. Department of Health and Genomics England.
The Graph Genome is a tool to store and analyze genetic information. It allows researchers and clinicians to analyze large sets of human genomes faster and more cheaply than before, and includes a self-improving algorithm that makes each analysis more accurate than the last. Additionally, Graph Genomes can completely anonymize a patient’s genetic data while retaining vital information for research and interpretation.
The Graph Genome will be how scientists deliver population genetic data, and thus precision medicine, to the clinic by allowing comparison of patient genomes to the population at large.
“The commercial availability of the Graph Genome and associated tools will be a step-change in how the world understands the fundamental building blocks of life,” said Deniz Kural, CEO. “Seven Bridges U.K. is bringing accuracy, privacy, speed and data quality improvements to researchers, clinicians and eventually patients around the world.”
Coupled with building the world’s first population-scale graph reference genome, the London-based team is launching a full suite of tools that allow researchers to use it. They include a graph aligner, branch genotyper and local assembler, graph database, genome browser and disease-focused applications.
All these tools also will run on the Seven Bridges Platform, a cloud-based bioinformatics, computation and storage suite. It provides scalability without any capital investment and comes with the experience of more than 100 biologists, bioinformaticians and engineers.
Genomics England is a company owned by the Department of Health and was set up to deliver the 100,000 Genomes Project. This project will sequence 100,000 whole genomes from NHS patients by 2017. The project is focusing on patients with rare diseases, and their families, as well as patients with common cancers.