( Original article )
Glencoe Software, the world-leading supplier of image data management solutions for biotech, pharma and publication industries, will provide the data management solution OMERO Plus for the newly established National Phenotypic Screening Centre (NPSC).
Phenotypic analysis measures the characteristics and behavior of cells, tissues and even whole organisms, allowing comparisons between states such as health and disease, the presence or absence of toxins or drugs, or the effect of genetic mutants.
A key challenge for NPSC is the development of automated workflows or “smart assays” that combine robotics with the use of advanced informatics and decision analytics in real-time to screen large numbers of potential drugs as efficiently and effectively as possible. NPSC is a highly collaborative environment with multiple partners worldwide requiring data sharing to be seamless and secure.
To deliver on these requirements, NPSC has chosen Glencoe Software’s OMERO Plus data management, storage and integration technology to meet this challenge.
NPSC is capitalizing on recent technological advances, not only in informatics and artificial intelligence, but also the recent revolutions in biology that span precision genome engineering, stem cell biology and tissue and organ culture systems, to deliver a new generation of highly complex, more relevant assays and molecules that will aid the development of new therapies. NPSC recently launched the Phenomics Discovery Initiative (PDi), a public private consortium that aims to enhance translation of phenotypic biology to novel therapeutics for patients, with Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. as the first industrial partner. Glencoe’s software’s OMERO Plus will underpin the image data management in this partnership. “NPSC has built a very exciting capability for developing new phenotypic screening assays,” said Glencoe Software CEO Jason Swedlow. “They have a massive need for robust data management tools and we are thrilled to be chosen to provide the solution that will keep their data safe and help fuel discoveries.”
“Part of our vision as an organization is to utilize the most innovative technology available from our industry,” said NPSC’s Director of Operations, Paul Andrews. “Glencoe Software’s suite of solutions fits that bill. We have enjoyed working with the team so far and can’t wait to continue collaborating with them.”
Phenotypic screening is the systematic search for agents that alter the characteristics of the biology system being studied and relies heavily on the use of sophisticated imaging technologies, generating vast quantities of data. This image data requires storage in a readily accessible format with all the metadata intact and searchable. Analysis of the image data using sophisticated algorithms then reveals the multiple parameters that define the phenotype. Complex big data analytics is used to understand the complexity of disease phenotypes. The technology has potential impacts in human and animal health and crop protection.
About the National Phenotypic Screening Centre
NPSC is a world-class facility for automated, high content, phenotypic screening. The goal of the NPSC is to bring advances in industrial drug screening capabilities to academic investigators. NPSC is a partnership between the Universities of Dundee, Edinburgh and Oxford. The project was established with an £8M infrastructure award from the Scottish Funding Council to the Scottish Universities Life Science Alliance (SULSA). NPSC operates as an open centre and aims to collaborate globally to develop the physiologically-relevant assays from biologists who are keen to achieve impact by seeing their best research ideas translated from the lab into the drug discovery pipeline. For more information, visit www.npsc.ac.uk.