Eagle Genomics and Quadram Institute build on pact to advance AI-driven microbiome analysis

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

Eagle Genomics and Quadram Institute advance AI-driven microbiome analysis

Related tags: Eagle Genomics, Quadram, microbiome

The Quadram Institute and Eagle Genomics are to advance their agreement to the next phase to include dataset sharing and use of the e[datascientist] platform to extract deeper microbiome-based insights.

Building on last September’s agreement, the two organisations will now use the e[datascientist] to further scrutinise newly generated multi-omic biological data with a view to translating results.

The agreement, formed between Quadram’s research partners The Earlham Institute​, focuses on investigating new pipelines and directions, particularly classification and reconstructions of genomes in complex environments.

Other areas of collaboration include global patterns of antimicrobial resistance found in microbes and investigations into the persistence and evolution of human associated microbes.

Data science

“We’re delighted to be working with Eagle Genomics on this exciting new strategic partnership,”​ says Dr Roberto Zanchi, Head of Business Development at Quadram Institute.

“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.”

At the heart of the collaboration is Eagle Genomics’ platform e[datascientist], which combines Artificial Intelligence (AI), a data valuation engine and visualisation to navigate through microbiome-based data.

By discovering links between this data and applicable multi-omics data, the platform looks to further advance current knowledge of links between the microbiome and the digestive and immune system, amongst other relationships.

The platform was the subject of a multi-year platform agreement​​​ with US giants Cargill and its Health Technologies business in May 2020 to garner deeper insights from microbiome data amassed over the past decade.

Microbiome’s critical role

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,”​ explains Anthony Finbow, CEO of Eagle Genomics.

“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,” ​adds Finbow, CEO of the Cambridge-based firm for four years.

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.”

Eagle soaring

Along with Cargill, Eagle also have agreements in place with Microsoft Genomics, a Microsoft Azure service focused on meeting the genomic computational challenges.

The partnership, formed in 2018, aims to address the challenge of microbial imbalance and impairment caused by the uptake of anti-bacterial products, pesticides and antibiotics.

This has led to a host of ailments we face today including; immune disorders, mental health problems and antibiotic resistance.

The agreement precedes one struck with Reckitt Benckiser in March 2020, where the multinational was looking ​​for help in producing new products for consumers, particularly in research areas such as the microbiome.

Commenting on the progress made with Quadram, Dr Andrew Tingey, Senior Director, Global IP and Licensing Strategy at 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.”

Related topics: Research, Gut/digestive health

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