The companies will work together using Ingenuity's proprietary IPA research software to develop next generation sequencing (NGS) data analysis, as part of a deal which, according to Ingenuity, will allow clients to “maximise the value of their investment in NGS technologies.”
“We're delighted Covance has selected IPA for its NGS work-flows,” said Doug Bassett, chief science officer and chief technology officer for Ingenuity, “We've been involved in several NGS collaborations recently, and our partnership with Covance represents another powerful validation of IPA's value in the NGS space.”
Sabine Schneider Nash, head of European communications for Covance, told Outsourcing-Pharma why the Princeton, US-based company believes the timing is right for such a collaboration.
“Technologies in the area of next generation gene sequencing are evolving at a rapid pace,” she said, “We are now at a point where the generation of the data is starting to become cheaper than storing or analysing it. As such we recognise that the bottleneck in NGS studies has been pushed downstream.”
Schneider Nash claimed pharma and biotech companies were eschewing costly volumes of data in favour of “biologically-meaningful, actionable data” that can positively impact their drug-discovery and development programs. She claimed it was precisely this desire for the provision of relevant, useful data that saw Covance single out Ingenuity as a potential partner.
“It was clear that a collaboration with Ingenuity would facilitate the development of tools necessary to analyse the complexity of NGS datasets and yield data that is significant,” she said.
“Given the accelerated pace of this technology development, Covance Genomics Laboratory (CGL) felt it was important to partner in data interpretation sooner rather than later.”
According to Schneider Nash the two companies plan to work together on developing new algorithms to “streamline the biological interpretation of NGS data,” with Covance providing Ingenuity with requirements based on individual client's needs for specific NGS applications. Ingenuity will then develop work-flows and reports for Covance to test before the data is handed back to the client.
“We anticipate a highly collaborative approach that brings Covance's expertise in generating this data with Ingenuity's understanding of data interpretation and algorithm development,” she said.
Commenting on the agreement, Tom Turi, vice president of science and technology for Covance's discovery and translational services said he believed the two companies were well placed to make a meaningful contribution to the field.
“The complexity of next-generation sequencing data can be a challenge to translational science and medicine. We're confident the combination of our best-in-class genomics data and the high-quality biological content an context provided by IPA will result in the delivery of more rapid, accurate, and thorough research services for our customers.”