Emerging player in DNA analysis joins forces with U. of Missouri

Appistry, a recent entrant in the game for providing analytics for genomics data, has picked up a partnership with the University of Missouri. The university is tapping Appistry's system called Ayrris/BIO for analyzing data from DNA sequencing machines as its researchers hunt for meaning in the data in a variety of fields, the company said today.

The genomics field has attracted a bevy of new players from the software world. Appistry, for example, emerged on the genomics scene after launching a life sciences group in September, having previously worked on complex data analysis for customers in defense, financial services and for FedEx, which uses the St. Louis-based company's technology to plan delivery routes, Sultan Meghji, Appistry's vice president of analytics applications, told FierceBiotech IT.

The opportunities in genomics for Appistry and its competitors are huge. Life Technologies ($LIFE) and Illumina ($ILMN) are rapidly bringing the cost of sequencing a whole genome to about $1,000, and the volume of data generated from the experiments is expected to soar as the low cost of sequencing makes it more accessible to more researchers than ever before. Though sequencing has become cheap, analyzing and storing the data add significant expenses for researchers. And Appistry's Meghji says his company's Ayrris tool does the job of analyzing a single genome for about $250.

Oracle ($ORCL) and other software players have been elbowing in on the analytics action as well, aiming to enable biomedical researchers to make practical use of such data.

At the University of Missouri, researchers plan to use Ayrris/BIO to speed their work around sequencing and bioinformatics and the company's storage system to relieve some of its own data management woes, according to Appistry's release.

"Our ability to quickly and efficiently carry out the early and secondary analysis of sequence data to answer important questions about plant, animal and human genomics problems with new state of the art technologies is like the opening of a new bridge on the path to discovery," Gordon Springer, scientific director of the University of Missouri Bioinformatics Consortium, stated. "Where we end up is unknown, but that's what makes it so exciting; to be able to discover new things about ourselves and nature."

- here's the release

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