BMS taps GNS Heathcare for computer model of inflammation

GNS Healthcare has bagged a deal with a major pharma. Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) is working with the health analytics firm on a new computer model of immuno-inflammation, according to GNS. And the disease model will aid in virtual clinical trials of sorts, using computer simulations to predict the potential impact of drugs in patients.

With clinical and molecular data from a Bristol-Myers' clinical trial, GNS plans to build the model with an eye toward discovering new biomarkers of disease and insights into disease biology. The inflammation model would aid in simulations of say, the effects of blocking a certain drug target in specific patients, or to uncover what drug new molecular pathways could play are potentially important for specific patients' illnesses.

While Cambridge, MA-based GNS isn't revealing financial details of the BMS deal, the agreement could provide another layer of validation to its supercomputing-enabled reverse-engineering and forward-simulation (REFS) technology. The REFS approach has already delivered results in a rheumatoid arthritis study involving data from Biogen Idec ($BIIB), and last month the National Cancer Institute's Center for Advanced Preclinical Research hooked up with GNS for its research of lung cancer.

Yet GNS sees its BMS deal as a significant move forward. "This is the first step in building a significantly advanced in silico research paradigm that may enable development of new therapies based directly on human data, and address the needs of patients with particular genetics," said Iya Khalil, executive vice president and co-founder of GNS.

- here's the GNS's release

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