Annai Systems to Support International Challenge to Improve the Detection of Cancer Mutations

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Annai-GNOS™ to integrate Hitachi storage solution to provide whole-genome cancer data to competing international research teams in new DREAM Challenge.

Annai Systems Inc., a genomic data management solution provider, today announced that it is providing its genome data management platform to host a scientific competition aimed at improving the identification of cancer mutations. The project emphasizes Annai’s leading role in genomic data management and its commitment to advancing medical genomic research. “Being able to leverage Annai Systems’ proven software and capabilities to host this data set is a logical extension of Annai’s involvement in cancer related data repositories. They continue to demonstrate their ability to advance the field by addressing key data management related challenges,” said Josh Stuart, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz and one of the organizers of the competition.

The DREAM (Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessments and Methods) Challenge pits the world’s top cancer research teams against each other as their competing algorithms vie for the most effective detection of cancer-causing mutations. “The outcome of this project will be a set of methods that will enable the broader cancer research community to dramatically improve the way cancer-causing mutations are detected,” added Stuart.

The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project are jointly organizing the DREAM ‘Somatic Mutation Calling (SMC)’ Challenge, the latest in a series of DREAM Challenges. Seattle-based Sage Bionetworks will provide software for sharing data between the study's collaborators and incorporating results from their analyses.

The DREAM SMC challenge engages a diverse community of scientists to compare algorithms and define a ‘best-of-breed’ cancer mutation detector. Each competing team must prove its own algorithm’s efficacy within the relatively short time window allotted for the challenge. All the scientific data, tools, scoreboards and resulting predictive models they generate will be made freely available to the public and other researchers.

The bottleneck in cancer research is the accurate detection of DNA mutations and rearrangements that cause cancer. Current studies agree only in about 20% of their predictions. Progress is sorely needed in standards for evaluating mutation detection algorithms and in improving the performance of these crucial algorithms.

Dream Challenge participants will use Annai’s GeneTorrent software for high-speed file transfer when accessing the data for subsequent analysis. Annai Systems has partnered with Hitachi to provide the storage hardware to facilitate data upload, access, and metadata management.

A group of leading cancer researchers from ICGC and TCGA specifically chose the Annai-GNOS TM data management platform, to host the cancer genome data set for this important initiative. Annai-GNOSTM is the same product used by the NIH-funded Cancer Genomics Hub (CGHub), a 740 terabyte repository of cancer genome data. “The leadership committee’s decision to use Annai-GNOS is further validation of Annai’s leading role in enabling genomics research through data management”, said Michael Penley, CEO of Annai Systems. “We are honored to take part in this effort that will result in more effective calling methods for cancer-causing mutations and will eventually advance our understanding of the genetic underpinnings of cancer,” said Penley.

For more information about Annai-GNOS, please visit Annai Systems’ website.

About Annai Systems

Annai Systems Inc., located in California’s Silicon Valley, is a technology company with a core competency in big data management solutions. We are focused on applying our technology to the field of genomics to enable easier, more efficient access to genomic data. Our technology enables the producers and consumers of genomic data to achieve better results faster and at lower operating costs by providing products that overcome key data-related bottlenecks and roadblocks that are impeding progress in the growing fields of genomic research and medicine. Annai Systems offers a variety of products and services to address the “big data” challenges associated with using genomic data in personalized medicine and healthcare improvement.

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Jay Kaufman
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