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Intel, Edico Genome Working to Speed Analysis of Genomic Data

Xconomy San Diego — 

As some 3,000 experts in genomics and bioinformatics gather in Boston this morning for the opening of the 2015 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo, San Diego’s Edico Genome announced it has forged a partnership with Intel to accelerate data analysis of next-generation genome sequencing technologies.

Edico Genome was founded two years ago to address a bottleneck in the analysis of data generated by next-gen machines like Illumina’s HiSeq X Ten.

Edico developed its specialized Dragen processor and related technology to accelerate the time needed to read and map the nucleotides—A, C, T, or G—from short segments of DNA, so they align with a reference genome. It’s a process that genomics specialists refer to as genome “mapping.”

The process, Edico says, is akin to re-assembling millions of paper strips after 800 telephone books have been run through a paper shredder. The company says its technology has reduced the time required to analyze such genomic data from around 10 hours to 20 minutes.

Dragen processor mounted on standard bus

Dragen processor mounted on standard bus

Under the collaboration unveiled today, Edico and Intel want to accelerate the data processing even more, using Intel’s Xeon processors to generate genomic analyses that can meet the more technically challenging standards of clinical genomics as well as the requirements of biomedical research.

An Edico spokeswoman says the solution under development is expected to provide such results in real time. By increasing the speed and accuracy of next-generation data analysis, Edico says its computing technology makes it easier to identify DNA sequence variations, and how such variations are linked to human disease. The promise of precision medicine, also known as personalized medicine, is that such information could some day be used to optimize patient care by matching drug therapies with specific genetic variations.

“Edico Genome’s significant domain expertise in the arena of genomic analysis makes them an ideal partner in this virtual space,” Intel life sciences general manager Ketan Paranjape says in the statement announcing the collaboration.