TechnologyUniversity of Edinburgh spin-out aims to improve genomic data...

University of Edinburgh spin-out aims to improve genomic data access

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Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have launched a spinout company that aims to democratise genetic data access and cut from days to minutes the time it takes to analyse millions of genetic records.
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A spinout from the University of Edinburgh is aiming to improve access to genetic data in order to support the discovery and development of new treatments.

Omecu was launched with the support of Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialisation service, It draws upon three years of research led by Dr Oriol Canela-Xandri at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, within the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Genetics and Cancer, and Dr Konrad Rawlik at the University’s Roslin Institute.

The company hopes to offer benefits in drug discovery and personalised medicine, while improving patient data security. The company has developed a computation engine and web platform that it hopes will improve how genomic data is securely accessed and efficiently analysed.

Although genomic data has increased substantially in the past decade, there are obstacles to accessing data effectively, making the process costly and time-consuming.

Dr Canela-Xandri, who is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University, said: “Our ambition is to create a paradigm shift where disease experts without a computer science background are able to easily query fragmented data sets, while cutting costs and without requiring the data-holding organisation to expose the data itself.

“Our recent funding awards mean we can now accelerate the development of our prototype and move towards a commercial product.”

The spin-out was recently awarded £288,000 from Innovate UK, which will allow Omecu to refine its prototype and progress commercial engagement.

Dr George Baxter, CEO of Edinburgh Innovations, added: “Genomic data holds great promise for humanity, and the Omecu team have found a way to make it far easier for clinicians to make use of that data. We’re extremely proud to help researchers to launch a company with such potential.”

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