University of Edinburgh tech spinout to revolutionise handling of genomic data

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have launched a spinout company that aims to slash the time it takes to analyse millions of genetic records.

Omecu promises wide-ranging benefits in drug discovery and personalised medicine, while improving patient data security. It aims to “democratise genetic data access” and cut from days to minutes the time it takes to analyse millions of records.

It is estimated that global human genomic data is doubling in size every seven months and may soon exceed other big data generators such as astronomy and the internet.

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The new business draws on three years of research led by Oriol Canela-Xandri at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, within the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Genetics and Cancer, and Konrad Rawlik at the university’s Roslin Institute. It has been launched with the support of Edinburgh Innovations, the university’s commercialisation service.

The new venture draws on three years of research led by Oriol Canela-Xandri (pictured) at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, within the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Genetics and Cancer, and Konrad Rawlik at the university’s Roslin Institute.
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George Baxter, chief executive of Edinburgh Innovations, said: “Genomic data holds great promise for humanity, and the Omecu team have found a way to make it far easier for clinicians to make use of that data. We’re extremely proud to help researchers to launch a company with such potential.”

Wendy Bickmore, director of the MRC Human Genetics Unit at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Having a rapid way to extract useful knowledge from large genomic datasets will accelerate new discoveries and new treatments for human disease.”

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The Omecu team has developed a computation engine and web platform that it hopes will transform how genomic data is securely accessed and efficiently analysed.

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