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Leading Multiple Sclerosis Clinicians and Researchers Join GNS Healthcare's Advisory Board

Leading Multiple Sclerosis Clinicians and Researchers Join GNS Healthcare's Advisory Board

Howard Weiner, Maria Pia Sormani, and Philip De Jager to guide company's Big Data modeling efforts to improve patient outcomes

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – June 3, 2013 – GNS Healthcare today announced that Dr. Howard Weiner, Dr. Maria Pia Sormani, and Dr. Philip De Jager have joined their newly formed Multiple Sclerosis Scientific Advisory Board. The members of the advisory board will lend their expertise to compliment GNS's data-driven modeling technology as the company builds computational models of the disease.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a complex disease, which involves both acute inflammation and progressive degeneration of the brain and spinal cord. There is currently no way to predict the disease course of a particular patient or what treatments will work for them. GNS is using data from a wide variety of sources to build powerful, predictive, computational models that will yield new insights into MS. These models will be used by pharmaceutical companies, healthcare providers, and insurance companies to match the right treatments to the right patients and to develop new therapies.

According to Dr. Weiner, "Big data modeling efforts have the power to create objective evidence of which treatments in MS work the best for which MS patients, directly from real world healthcare data and clinical trial data. These approaches can help to improve patient care."

Dr. Weiner is a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center and chief of the Division of Multiple Sclerosis at Brigham and Women's Hospital, both in Boston, MA. He pioneered the use of immunotherapy for the treatment of MS and the use of the mucosal immune system for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and is the author of Curing MS: How Science is Solving the Mystery of Multiple Sclerosis.

Dr. Sormani is a Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Genoa, Italy. She is a globally recognized leader in biostatistics for MS, serves on the International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials in Multiple Sclerosis, and has published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals. According to Dr. Sormani, "The ability to automatically learn the likely cause-and-effect relationships from observational and clinical data is valuable and unique. GNS's REFS™ platform is comprised of a powerful set of tools which are well-suited to extract more of the untapped potential in MS datasets for the challenge the disease presents to patients, clinicians, and drug makers."

Dr. De Jager is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the Institute for Neurosciences at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, as well as the Director for Basic and Translational Research at the Brigham and Women's Hospital Institute for the Neurosciences. His research focuses on understanding the role of human genomics and biomarkers in neurologic disease and developing drugs and diagnostic, prognostic, and treatment algorithms for personalized disease management. "By bringing together data and analytic approaches, we can gain new insights into MS disease progression and treatment response which will contribute to the personalization of MS care and the development of new therapies targeting MS-related neurodegeneration," said Dr. De Jager.

"We are very pleased to have Drs. Weiner, Sormani, and De Jager join our advisory board," said Colin Hill, CEO of GNS Healthcare. "Their expertise will help guide the development and validation of our MS disease model products. These patient data-driven software products have the potential to dramatically improve patient outcomes and reduce overall healthcare costs for MS patients by better matching patients to treatments from the beginning of diagnosis."

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease that damages the myelin sheaths that surround the brain and spinal cord. It causes lesions that affect the ability of nerve cells to communicate with each other, leading to a wide range of neurological, cognitive, and physical symptoms. The cause of MS is currently unknown. The disease affects over 2.5 million people worldwide.

About REFS™

REFS™ (Reverse Engineering and Forward Simulation) is GNS Healthcare's scalable, supercomputer-enabled framework for discovering new knowledge directly from data. REFS™ automates the discovery and extraction of causal network models from observational data and uses high-throughput simulations to generate new knowledge.

About GNS Healthcare

GNS Healthcare is a big data analytics company that has developed a scalable approach for the discovery of what works in healthcare, and for whom. Our analytics solutions are being applied across the healthcare industry: from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, health plans and hospitals, to integrated delivery systems, pharmacy benefits managers, and accountable care organizations. Whether your organization is delivering care or developing personalized therapies and diagnostics, GNS Healthcare can help you discover the knowledge you need to match patients with treatments that work.


David Santucci
GNS Healthcare

Cory Tromblee
MacDougall Biomedical Communications