PARIS—GenoSplice Technology, a developer and provider ofbioinformatics solutions for genomics projects, and Curie-Cancer, theorganization responsible for partnership activities for Institut Curie, haveannounced a new partnership. The companies will be combining their skill setsto explore the application of bioinformatics in cancer genomics.
"Participating in research projects with the Institut Curie,which are sometimes multi-party and involve other international researchinstitutes, will put us at the forefront of developments in our areas of interestand will enable us to provide the best possible service to our clients," Pierrede la Grange, scientific director and co-founder of GenoSplice, said in a pressrelease.
Under the collaboration, GenoSplice will gain access toseveral of Curie-Cancer's technology platforms that will allow it to improveits service offerings, and will also be included in research programs ofInstitut Curie, with access to the intellectual property that results from saidprograms. In addition, both organizations will seek further understanding ofdiseases such as cancer through the use of genome mapping. Though no terms weredisclosed, the partnership is slated to run for several years.
Among the projects the partners will undertake is thedefinition of a genomic map for prostate cancer based on the analysis of datafrom several hundred cancer patients. Another project will be to pursue a newtherapeutic approach in treating cancer that uses a "cell-penetrating peptide"molecule. GenoSplice and Curie-Cancer will seek out markers that could predicta patient's response to this type of molecule.
Marc Rajaud, president and co-founder of GenoSplice, saysthe company is "very pleased to have signed this agreement," and notes thatGenoSplice will provide "dedicated value-added solutions for genomic dataanalysis" in the partnership.
"GenoSplice had been initially created to providealternative splicing analysis for microarrays. Now we also analyze data fromRNA-seq and DNA-seq and concerning gene expression, alternative splicing,microRNA, fusion transcripts, epigenetics, SNP, CNV, translocation andproteomics," says Rajaud. "We apply our in-house innovative technologies forstudying genetic variation and function, making studies possible that were noteven imaginable just a few years ago. These tools for DNA, RNA and proteinanalysis are enabling rapid advances in disease research, drug development andthe development of molecular tests in the clinic."
Damien Salauze, director of Curie-Cancer, says that whilethe organization's responsibilities will vary from project to project,Curie-Cancer will provide, among other things, access to some of itstechnological platforms, expertise in cancer biology and leadership foracademic projects.
Salauze says that while it is always hard to predict whetherpartnerships like this, which focus on the genomics of diseases, will becomemore prevalent, "it can be anticipated that cutting-edge companies will have tobe involved in high-level academic programs if they want to stay 'cutting-edge'… This can be achieved either through participation to collaborative academicprogram funded by states … or through one-to-one agreements such as the presentone. This is, to my knowledge, the first of this kind in France in this field,which makes it somewhat emblematic."
According to Rajaud, the science of bioinformatics isbecoming increasingly vital for the industry, noting that the life sciences"have been highly affected by the generation of large data sets, specificallyby overloads of 'omics information (genomes, transcriptomes and other 'omicsdata from cells, tissues and organisms)." Companies' success in dealing withall of this data, he notes, "will depend on our ability to interpret high-scaledata sets that are generated by emerging technologies. Data analysis is thebottleneck of the genomic revolution and consequently of the personalizedmedicine development."
"We are generating more data in the last years than we haveproduced in our entire existence. At the same time, biomedical research isfacing an increasing deficit in people to not only handle big data, but moreimportantly, to have the knowledge and skills to generate value from this data… In this context, for public or private organization researchers, it is quitedifficult to manage all these new bioinformatics issues. That's why we set upthis kind of partnership, which can be described as 'Bioinformatics as aService,'" says Rajaud.