The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top five cancer research centers in the world, uses ENPICOM’s software to gain insights from the immune system and predict treatment responses in cancer patients
‘s-Hertogenbosch (The Netherlands), September 16, 2020 – ENPICOM, an innovative bioinformatics software engineering company specialized in decoding the immune system, announced that the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre of the University Health Network (UHN) has purchased a subscription to ENPICOM’s data analysis platform. The Princess Margaret will use its ImmunoGenomiX (IGX) Platform to streamline the analysis and management of the vast amounts of immune repertoire sequencing data generated in their research and clinical studies.
Immune repertoire sequencing focuses on the most important players of the adaptive immune system and determines the genetic code of T and B cell receptors. This specific type of DNA/RNA analysis provides an in-depth view of the adaptive immune system and is the most informative way to research it. However, repertoire sequencing experiments typically generate millions of sequencing reads per sample, and the amount of publicly available data is growing exponentially. To enable researchers to manage and make sense of all the available data, ENPICOM developed a scalable, versatile tool – the IGX Platform. With powerful data handling features, an intuitive user interface, and several analysis apps, the platform enables scientists in academic research centers and biopharmaceutical companies to accurately interpret large-scale repertoire data, reduce the time needed to extract biologically and clinically relevant insights, and, most importantly, unlock insights that otherwise would have stayed hidden.
Dr. Trevor Pugh, Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret, is focused on enabling comprehensive genome analysis as a routine clinical test to guide the treatment of cancer patients. His research lab is currently working to understand clinical implications of clonal shifts in cancer and non-cancerous cell populations during treatment, most recently using cell-free DNA, immune repertoire, and single cell RNA-seq sequencing. Immune repertoire sequencing is one of the technologies adopted to make progress in this field.
The Pugh lab set strict selection criteria when reviewing data analysis solutions available in the market to support his immune repertoire sequencing work:
● Equipped with a user-friendly interface and flexible data management component to link the laboratory with the data analysis department
● Facilitate secure and easy data sharing among the scientists in the lab and external scientific collaborators
● Enable (clinical) metadata integration to gain novel insights
● Capable of easily comparing immune repertoire data generated with different public repositories
Dr. Trevor Pugh explains: “ENPICOM’s IGX platform is unique in its kind. It is the only analysis and data management platform specifically designed for this type of sequencing data. IGX offers us flexibility, ease-of-use, data integration, and data sharing possibilities – all criteria that we consider extremely important to properly support our scientific work. Additionally, the ENPICOM team has been very helpful in the pilot phase and showed full commitment to make our first experience a smooth one.”
Dr. Nicola Bonzanni, Chief Scientific Officer, was involved in the discussions from the first moment onwards when the contact with Dr. Pugh and his team was established. He mentions: “We are extremely happy to welcome UHN as a new customer. They are a perfect example of why we developed this platform. Dr. Pugh’s lab developed its own wet-lab protocols and thus needed flexibility at the front-end. They also function as a central hub in grant-related scientific consortia and required data sharing capabilities. Most importantly, they aimed high and were looking for a solution to help them bridge the gap between the technology and deriving insights to make patients benefit from the detailed analysis of the adaptive immune system enabled by repertoire sequencing.”
About University Health Network
University Health Network consists of Toronto General, recently voted one of the Top 10 Hospitals in the World according to Newsweek Magazine, and Toronto Western Hospital, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source of discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.
For more information, visit www.uhn.ca