BASEL—February 9, 2007—Computational biology specialist Genedata AG announced that it would expand its collaboration with the HepatoSys research network for another three years. The move follows successful deployment of Genedata's Phylosopher and Expressionist systems to the academic systems biology program. "Cellular processes such as programmed cell death and regeneration of liver cells are of great scientific and medical interest," explains University of Freiburg's Dr. Irmgard Merfort. "Genedata will help us to identify new biomarkers for disease diagnostics and to pave the way for novel therapeutic approaches in tissue regeneration, cancer and inflammation."
BASEL, Switzerland—Genedata recently announced a collaboration with HepatoSys, a consortium of German research centers that seek to understand the physiology and pathophysiology of the human liver using systems biology methods. Together with the consortium's academic members, Genedata has developed a computational system to analyze molecular processes in mammalian liver cells.
HepatoSys' multidisciplinary network will investigate signaling pathways, gene regulation mechanisms, cell signaling dynamics and metabolic activity in hepatocytes, the main liver cell type.
"HepatoSys will combine simulations of cellular events with experimental data analysis to yield novel insights about the complex biochemical functions of the liver," says Jens Timmer, scientific spokesman for HepatoSys, which is a competence network of more than 30 research groups from academia, industry and clinics in Germany. The groups are funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to support interdisciplinary research, to establish methods and tools and to develop data-based models of physiological processes in hepatic cell model systems.
Genedata already has developed an established computational platform for systems biology research, using Genedata Phylosopher for investigating pathways and Genedata Expressionist for analyzing large volumes of complex molecular data. The platform is currently used by various research groups to enhance drug discovery and development. HepatoSys has licensed this platform to manage research data, and to integrate and analyze transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic data.
For the HepatoSys network, Genedata is developing a customized integrated data management solution based on that platform. The customized solution will feature a specialized data management resource to represent dynamic pathway models. This will enable scientists to store and exchange research results, such as mathematical models of cellular signal transduction pathways, along with relevant simulation results.
Genedata notes that the systems biology approach is growing more widespread in industrial research circles, and adds that HepatoSys is pioneering the use of the approach to probing liver function.