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Maverix, $100,000 Order from University of Missouri For 99 Lives Cat Whole Genome Sequencing Initiative

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014
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Maverix Analytic Platform to be Used for Analysis and Hosting of Community of Discovery.

Maverix Biomics, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has received a $100,000 order from the University of Missouri for the analysis of feline genomes as part of the 99 Lives Cat Whole Genome Sequencing Initiative, a joint project between the University of Missouri, the University of California, Davis, and industrial partners. In addition, Maverix will be hosting the 99 Lives Cat Whole Genome
Sequencing Initiative genome and analysis data as a free, publicly-accessible “Community of Discovery.”

Communities of Discovery, established among scientists for a particular organism or common research area, are built on the cloud-based Maverix Analytic Platform that enables the simple sharing of data, accessible analytic workflows, and interactive browsing of results between groups of researchers. Researchers can distribute information privately or as broadly as desired; with colleagues at the same organization or around the world. These environments are ideal for international consortiums to cooperatively annotate new or existing genomes, with experts from around the world able to view and contribute new annotations interactively.

The 99 Lives Cat Whole Genome Sequencing Initiative is a project designed to sequence the genome of 99 cats in order to improve coverage and future assemblies of the cat genome; identify genotypic variation across a large number of cats with diverse genetic backgrounds, helping to identify causative mutations for specific health conditions; and increase the value of individual cat genome sequencing by veterinary hospitals providing state-of-the-art health care.

Sequencing and analyzing the genomes of 99 cats will enable researchers to better understand disease pathways and ultimately develop diagnostic and screening tests that will improve treatments. The first cat genome, derived from a single Abyssinian cat named Cinnamon, was released in 2007 with relatively low sequencing coverage. The much higher resolution sequencing across a cat population provided by the 99 Lives Initiative will produce a much richer public set of genome variants. An improved assembly of the reference cat genome is also due later this year, and will benefit from
incorporation of new data from the 99 Lives Initiative.

The University of Missouri is coordinating this project to ensure a variety of critical goals are met: the inclusion of cats from different breeds and geographic locations to maximize variation detection; the use of consistent methods to facilitate variant identification; uniform quality and wide public distribution of data; and a common analytic resource for colleagues new to genomics research and large scale bioinformatics.

"I am excited about the potential of the 99 Lives Initiative to lead to a better understanding of cat genetics, which ultimately will lead to advances in healthcare," said Leslie Lyons PhD, Gilbreath-McLorn Professor for Comparative Medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia. "I look forward to Maverix Biomics' support of this project to ensure its success via accuracy, consistency, and continuity."

“We are pleased to support Professor Lyons, and the efforts of cat researchers worldwide, as they advance our knowledge of the cat genome,” said Dave Mandelkern, President and co-founder of Maverix Biomics. “Hosting the 99 Lives Initiative, and the approximately 168 terabytes of data associated with it, is another example of our commitment to open science and making data and analytic tools readily available to researchers through this Community of Discovery.”

Access to the 99 Lives Cat Whole Genome Sequencing Initiative public data sets and visualization of the data within the UCSC Genome Browser will be available at no cost to researchers. Adding additional data or performing new data analytics, exploration, or visualization is possible for additional fees, with substantial discounts for academic and not-for-profit research organizations. The Maverix “pay-as-you-go” pricing model means that researchers only pay for the additional resources they use, when they use them.

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