by Peter Boogaard, Analysome project leader
The Analysome concept was initiated by the U-BIOPRED team and supported by the Pistoia Alliance. Although developed as a pre-project assessment exercise, the outputs delivered by the Pistoia Alliance provided many of the benefits of a full-scale project and included the creation of a fully functional prototype.
U-BIOPRED is a project run by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) organisation, Europe’s largest public-private partnership. IMI aims to improve the drug development process by supporting more efficient discovery and development of better and safer medicines for patients. Within IMI, the U-BIOPRED project is aimed at speeding up the development of better treatments for patients with severe asthma.
The main objective of the Analysome work carried out by the Pistoia Alliance was to explore whether an analyte search portal needed for U-BIOPRED’s Asthma research could also be used in other disease areas. This Analysome portal enabled scientists to rapidly find available assays for analytes of interest, including those in related biological networks, and allowed assay providers to create a marketing channel for high quality assays. Stakeholder benefits were anticipated to include:
- FTE saving on finding the right biomarker at the right time with the right quality and the right availability
- FTE saving on in-house curation of biomarker resources providing vendors a marketplace for their assays
- Risk mitigation – using appropriately validated & qualified biomarkers minimizes experimental and regulatory risks
Originally only intended to be a desk-based research exercise, the Analysome concept in the hands of the Pistoia Alliance soon led to the creation of a working prototype, which was achieved entirely within the original budget. It was felt that a complex concept such as this could only be truly appreciated if seen in action, and that a prototype or demonstrator would be vital for assessing the potential impact and true value of the project.
The prototype consists of an easy to use web search portal backed by Thomson Reuters’ powerful Cortellis Data Fusion platform. An initial set of analytes were loaded for the purposes of demonstration, including Singleplex Analytes, Southampton Analytes, Assay register, Somalogic serum analyte assays, Soton serum MSe proteomics, and Uniprot. Combined, these analyte sets provide approximately 750,000 data points.
The working prototype (http://cortellislabs.com/analysome/) is hosted at Thomson Reuters Cortellis Labs on behalf of the Pistoia Alliance. A free Cortellis Labs account is required to access it, and on the prototype’s front page there is a link to a video explaining how the Analysome portal works. The prototype is open-source.
The Pistoia Alliance’s assessment work for the Analysome concept is complete. Further development may take place if additional funding becomes available. If you would like to invest in the next stage of this project, or gain access to a copy of the source code for the prototype, then please get in touch by emailing our business development team: [email protected].