Translational tidbits

Berg's big data dive

Berg Pharma LLC is seeking to validate its Interrogative Biology toolkit by striking academic partnerships with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Medical University of South Carolina. Berg will use tissue banks and patient data from the medical schools to discover biomarkers and targets for cancer and cardiovascular, CNS, metabolic and autoimmune diseases.

The platform combines a patient's molecular data with clinical records and demographic data. The goal of the systems biology approach is to help doctors select treatment regimens and help insurance companies develop formularies.

The key, said Berg president, cofounder and CTO Niven Narain, is getting access. "We want to partner with leading laboratories with exceptional access to tissue samples and databases," he said.

The University of Miami deal gives Berg access to tissue samples and clinical data from hundreds of patients with a variety of illnesses. Berg will perform genomic, metabolomic and proteomic analyses; crunch the data in search of predictive biomarkers and potential targets; and work with clinical researchers to validate interesting hits.

Narain said that the partnership broadens an existing deal

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