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On the cutting edge
July 2018
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—CAMP4 Therapeutics recently launched with a platform “to discover effective treatment approaches for every disease” and at the same time announcied a $30-million Series A financing. Operating at what it calls “the intersection of biology and computation,” CAMP4 is building on seminal discoveries in gene regulation circuitry made by company founders Dr. Richard Young of the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research and MIT and Dr. Leonard Zon of Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University.
 
To enable its vision, CAMP4 is focusing efforts to scale its proprietary 4-D Gene Circuity Platform across all human cell types relevant to disease.
 
“The machinery that controls activation of the 24,000 genes in the human body can be codified by CAMP4’s platform into a discrete set of combinatorial rules using signaling pathways,” said Josh Mandel-Brehm, CEO of CAMP4. “By combining novel experimental data and computational capabilities, our platform solves the control code for any gene and cell type central to disease pathology.”
 
CAMP4 believes the impact of its activities can substantially de-risk and shorten the drug development process, which the company notes is “otherwise historically characterized by poor productivity and long approval timelines.” Proceeds from the recent financing will be used to expand the use of its platform to other human cell types and accelerate collaborations with partners toward novel target discoveries and new applications for existing chemistries, extending their life cycle and value into areas previously not considered.
 
“By combining the power of epigenomics, computational biology and machine learning, CAMP4’s platform has the unique potential to elucidate the mechanisms and rules governing gene regulation across disease,” said Jorge Conde, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, one of the investors in the financing round. “This is an extraordinary opportunity to transform how we think about discovering new therapies and treating patients.”
 
Shimadzu enhances MS platform with with new Q-TOF System
COLUMBIA, Md.—In other recent tools and technology news, Shimadzu announced the launch of the quadrupole time-of-flight (Q-TOF) LCMS-9030 system. The Shimadzu LCMS-9030 is a research-grade mass spectrometer designed to deliver high-resolution, accurate-mass detection with incredibly fast data acquisition rates, allowing scientists to identify and quantify more compounds with greater confidence.
 
Ultra-fast (UF) acquisition rates and core ion beam technologies developed for the triple quadrupole platform are said by the company to have created new possibilities in quantitative mass spectrometry by delivering exceptional sensitivity, specific quantitation and enhanced target compound verification. Also in the new system, core ion beam technologies transition toward a unique approach in ion gating using UFaccumulation to create a precise pulse of ions into the flight tube optimized for high sensitivity and high resolution using iRefTOF reflectron technology. The iRefTOF generates an ideal reflectron field, delivering the highest resolution for the flight path with highly stable mass accuracy.
 
“Our Q-TOF technology on the LCMS-9030 will push the boundaries further for high mass accuracy and high mass resolution detection and will make an impact across all applications, from small molecule quantitation to complex intact protein analysis. This technology highlights Shimadzu’s passion for making something new and innovative as well as our commitment to making analysis better and promoting better science,” said Shuzo Maruyama, general manager of the Analytical & Measuring Instruments Division at Shimadzu.
 
Turn data into action for clinical and translational genomics research
RIJSWIJK, Netherlands & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Bluebee Corp. announced in May the release of BLUEBASE, a complete data management solution designed to transform next-generation sequencing (NGS) and metadata into actionable genomic knowledge with efficiency and clinical-grade security. BLUEBASE runs on the Bluebee core data analysis platform and provides post-sequencing intelligent data aggregation, ease of querying and deep knowledge mining. BLUEBASE is aimed at diagnostic assay developers, pharmaceutical researchers, clinical trial operators and investigators of population-scale initiatives, offering a turnkey solution to efficiently realize clinically-relevant information from large-scale genomic data.
 
BLUEBASE aggregates, organizes, and stores combined genomic data sets, phenotypes and other metadata from a vast ecosystem of curated public and private databases. With a customizable data model, BLUEBASE accommodates a wide scope of user-defined metadata and ontology frameworks, including the integration of a dynamic public knowledge base of 150 data sources and hundreds of millions of data records, composed of publications, variant datasets, clinical studies and other data sources. Private data sets and metadata are said to be easily integrated within the system.
 
A range of applications are enabled by BLUEBASE, including discovery and validation of biomarkers, insight into patient stratification approaches, cross-study analyses by multidisciplinary teams, identification of drug candidates for clinical trials and more. Having data mined and readily accessible in BLUEBASE within the Bluebee platform reportedly eliminates data redundancy and risks associated with physically transferring large, private datasets, further streamlining clinical genomics applications.
 
“BLUEBASE was created as part of our mission to further serve precision medicine initiatives,” says Hans Cobben, CEO of Bluebee. “As part of the Bluebee platform, volume to value from genomic data is now achievable, with high efficiency and clinical-grade security.”
 
Discovery in real time with NLP
CAMBRIDGE, U.K. & BOSTON—Linguamatics, a leading natural language processing (NLP) text analytics provider, in May announced the latest release of its I2E AMP platform to automate the discovery of critical insights from text using NLP.
 
The I2E Asynchronous Messaging Pipeline (AMP) platform reportedly delivers high-throughput, fault tolerant workflow management for real-time document and record processing, addressing the NLP text-mining and ETL (extract transform load) requirements for healthcare and life-sciences organizations of all sizes by allowing users to plug I2E into enterprise workflows and rapidly process streams of data at scale.
 
“I2E’s flexible NLP platform goes far beyond traditional entity mark-up, providing semantically enriched data that normalizes concepts and relationships based on the relevant context,” said David Milward, chief technology officer for Linguamatics. “With AMP, clients now have an enterprise class, high-throughput solution that provides secure, fault-tolerant, scalable and real-time ETL from unstructured text to structured data.”
 
“AMP provides for the rapid transactional processing of unstructured data for a variety of workflows, including document markup and data extraction to feed enterprise search engines, machine learning, data warehouses and dashboards,” said Phil Hastings, chief business development officer for Linguamatics. “The 2.0 release includes new options that make it an even more valuable solution that can be applied to multiple use cases across life sciences and healthcare.”
 
Code: E071829

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