BC Platforms Announces Collaborations in Multiple Sclerosis Research
News Oct 17, 2017
BC Platforms has announces that Biogen and the Accelerated Cure Project (ACP) will each be using its technology solutions and research platform, including its recently launched BCRQUEST.COM, to better understand the genetic basis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and accelerate research into its causes and mechanisms. Microsoft will provide the cloud infrastructure for indexing and accessing the information globally through the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
Biogen, ACP, and Microsoft are all members of the Open Biobank Research Enhancement Alliance (OBREA), formed by BC Platforms to connect biobanks, technology enablers, researchers and industry. Biogen and ACP will use BCRQUEST.COM to enable analysis of combined genomic and clinical data and streamline collaboration between biobanks and MS researchers. BC Platforms' vision is to build the world's leading analytics resource for healthcare and industry by 2020, providing access to diverse genomic and clinical data from more than 5 million people.
Karol Estrada, (Biogen, Assoc. Director, Statistical Genetics & Genetic Epidemiology), commented, "Hundreds of genetic variants have been associated with MS, but their functional relevance is still unclear. We still have considerable work to do to understand how genetic variations influence susceptibility to MS, the timing of symptom onset, disease progression, and treatment response. By combining Biogen's expertise in neurological diseases with advanced cloud and genomic data management and analytic capabilities, we can improve our knowledge of how genetic variations impact disease pathophysiology."
ACP is a patient-founded national non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating research efforts to improve diagnosis, to optimize treatment and to advance cures for MS. ACP will be using BC Platform's solutions to manage and grow its MS data repository, research programs, and research networks. ACP has a large-scale collection of detailed clinical and phenotype data from individuals with MS, along with a diverse collection of genomic and other research data, generated by scientists using ACP'S repository samples. Curation of these data in BCRQUEST.COM will allow this valuable resource to be made available to researchers around the globe on an efficient and tractable platform.
Robert N McBurney, CEO of the Accelerated Cure Project, said "MS affects at least 2.3 million people worldwide. BC Platforms' technology provides an efficient way to manage the growth of our data repository, increases its visibility to the research community, and offers a simple way for researchers to collaborate and test hypotheses, especially those involving genetic data. As a result of this relationship with BC Platforms, ACP can have an even bigger impact in driving research that will improve the health, healthcare and quality of life of people affected by MS."
Tero Silvola, CEO of BC Platforms, commented; "We are pleased that our data management and analytics platform is being used to better understand a disabling and unpredictable disease such as multiple sclerosis, the incidence of which has been increasing in recent years. Access to large scale datasets with both genetic and clinical data will enable researchers to identify and interpret genetic variations and support insights for preventing and treating MS."
Geralyn Miller, Director, Microsoft Genomics, said; "We are proud to provide the Microsoft Azure cloud platform for the analysis of extensive amounts of genomic and clinical data in order to break new ground for MS, a complex, debilitating disease."