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Eagle Genomics announce a strategic partnership to accelerate microbiome analysis using AI

Eagle Genomics and the Quadram Institute, an institute creating new interfaces between food science, gut biology, and human health, have announced a new partnership committed to promoting the understanding of microbiome science. 

Building on the agreement announced in September 2021 with the Earlham Institute, a Norwich-based institute focused on data-intensive bioscience research, the partnership with the Quadram Institute will involve the sharing of datasets, innovation pipelines and tools to facilitate the understanding of complex microbiome data through Eagle Genomics’ e[datascientist] platform.

Anthony Finbow, CEO, Eagle Genomics, said: ‘Our new knowledge partnership with the Quadram Institute presents an exciting opportunity to share and provide access to novel datasets and tools through e[datascientist]™, providing invaluable insights in minutes rather than months.

‘At Eagle Genomics, we firmly believe that the microbiome has a critical role to play across numerous industries, both now and in the future.  In order better to understand these intricate relationships and unlock radical innovation opportunities, it is critical to be able to efficiently interrogate multi-dimensional microbiome data. This is where e[datascientist] is playing an invaluable role. By harnessing nature - including its complex networks and associated multi-dimensional data - we can help tackle the world’s “Grand Challenges” while unlocking significant economic potential.’

As scientists’ understanding of the role of the microbiome - the population of trillions of different bacteria and microbes that colonise our tissues, organs, and the environment - and its role in both health and disease continues to improve, gaining a deeper understanding of these complex biological systems has become of vital importance. By applying advances in genetic sequencing technology, laboratories across the world can now identify which species of microbes are present in different microbiome ecosystems, and also comprehend, from reading the sequence of individual genes, which functions those microbes might have.

In addition, analysis of ‘multi-omic’ data from humans, as well as that of soil, plants, animals, and their interactions with their diverse hosts, could help scientists develop new innovations that to meet the rapidly increasing nutritional requirements of a growing global population. Such an approach would also help in reducing the carbon footprint of sectors such as food processing and agriculture.

Eagle Genomics, which is focused on driving the digitization of scientific R&D across the Food, Healthcare, Personal Care and Beauty and AgBio industries, will be working with research group leaders at the Quadram Institute to efficiently exploit multi-dimensional, multi-omic biological data. e[datascientist] will provide the scientists with the opportunity to share their work more widely and establish new connections, in addition to using the platform to more easily interrogate, integrate and streamline new datasets. Such developments could help further advance the scientists' research - including the potential to translate their results.

Dr Andrew Tingey, senior director, global IP and licensing strategy, Eagle Genomics, said: ‘We are delighted to be forming this new strategic partnership with the Quadram Institute and its internationally-renowned team of experts. Building a network of key knowledge partners with world-leading research institutes is a critical area of focus for us, and this latest partnership demonstrates commitment to building that network and augments our previously announced partnership with the Earlham Institute.

‘We look forward to working with both Institutes and deepening our work together on our journey to becoming a global open platform for data innovation - combining open science and commercial R&D to benefit each partner and society.’

e[datascientist] leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and network science in order to surface scientific connections and explore multi-causal relationships, for example, to better understand the microbiome. The platform also improves the digitisation, and reduces the creation of data silos in legacy scientific R&D systems, which can be used in tandem with datasets from publicly available databases, all in a standardised format. In this way e[datascientist] supports the entire R&D workflow, accelerating the generation of novel insights and ultimately reducing time to market.

Eagle Genomics continues to be engaged in discussions with a range of other organisations to ensure that its platform continues to become the burgeoning global life sciences knowledge discovery hub.

Dr Roberto Zanchi, head of business development, Quadram Institute, said: ‘We’re delighted to be working with Eagle Genomics on this exciting new strategic partnership. Our world-leading work on genomics and multi-omics continues to help both the UK and low- and middle-income countries around the world deliver genomic surveillance of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and is built on our long-standing expertise around pathogens in the food chain. Data science is also absolutely key to our research at the Quadram Institute into the gut microbiome and its influence on human health, all of which is mediated by the complex interactions of micro-organisms, the food we eat, and the environment of the gastro-intestinal tract itself.’

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