Eagle, an expert provider of bioinformatics software and services across a wide range of the life science and other sectors, has won a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition which will see the company further develop its technology for genomic data management and analysis.
The competition was funded by the Department of Health, through the Small Business Research Initiative and managed by Genomics England, which supports the efforts to map 100,000 whole genomes of NHS patients with cancer or a rare disease by 2017.
As a winner of the first phase, Eagle will receive a share of the £1.6 million fund available. This will be used to extend the capabilities of its existing technology platform Eagle Core, which has been developed to meet the demand for improved NGS technology in the healthcare sector. The extensions include improved study tracking and data sharing, streamlined sequence analysis, variant calling and annotation pipelines in order to scale up for the 100,000 genomes analysis. This will also improve data protection and security compliance in line with NHS Information Governance and HIPAA.
After the completion of the initial 6 month project, a further £8 million will be made available in phase 2 of the competition to those companies who are judged to have the best products once they have been developed and tested.
Abel Ureta-Vidal, CEO of Eagle said: “Improved and streamlined genomic analysis will play a key role in tackling rare diseases and cancer. In both cases, the causes are a combination of genetic and other factors, making the need for improved software tools for analysis critical for the understanding of these diseases and ultimately developing new treatments and cures. Through Eagle Core, and its ability to provide easy and fast access to relevant data, researchers will be able to mine for previously unknown connections between existing datasets in the archives and identify new hypotheses. These can be used to better understand treatment outcome and provide new paths for the development of new treatments.”