_Bitgenia is a local company called “startups”, Emerged in the heat of academic research. It was created thanks to a grant from the Ministry of Science and Technology, and is dedicated to genomic analysis. It is made up of computer scientists, bioinformatics and geneticists (several of whom are doing their doctorates). AstraZeneca is the fifth largest global pharmaceutical company. It is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, and operates in more than 100 countries. His name became widely known when developing one of the vaccines that are being applied to hundreds of millions of people to control the pandemic.

Although one is gigantic and the other is made up of a dozen scientists, both partnered to develop the ColGenBio (Collaborative Genomics and Biobank) platform, and expand it beyond borders to all of Latin America. In a recently released statement, the multinational affirms that they are moving towards precision medicine, with treatments tailored to each patient (particularly in oncology) that can increase the chances of success.. “It is about achieving more accurate diagnoses and better predictions,” he stresses.

“It took us more than a year and a half of work,” explains Adrián Turjanski, specialist in bioinformatics and scientific director of _Bitgenia. It is not just signing an agreement, but passing a series of certifications. These multinationals are a world: they are constantly tracking the innovations that will have a global impact and in which they can collaborate. They know that not all breakthroughs come from within the company. They are like a sponge that has to absorb new ideas and promote them”.

Adrián Turjanski, Scientific Director of _Bitgenia

The “cover letter” of the startup Argentina was the first fully designed platform in the country with the participation of Conicet scientists that allows reading the 3 billion “letters” (or bases) that make up the complete genome and interpret in an accessible way the complex information that arises from the analysis of the coding parts of genes (the “exome”, which represents 1% of the total genetic material, but concentrates the information that will give rise to proteins) as well as regions that regulate these genes. Translate the results so that doctors can understand them quickly and easily. And among other things, it allows confirming the existence of pathogenic mutations that can give rise to hereditary diseases and detect predisposition to certain conditions. Also, guide the diagnosis of rare diseases, metabolic and neurological pathologies and cancer, among others.

“Today we have more than 10,000 people loaded onto our platform,” adds Turjanski. ColGenBio software will allow clinical laboratories and researchers to access anonymized sample information, search for indicators of interest, and perform statistical analysis of genomic and clinical data.. It is hoped that this will contribute to improving treatments by allowing the choice of medication to be tailored to the patients who will benefit most from it.

“One of the problems with precision medicine is that people are treated in different places,” says the scientist. The information of a single patient is not of much value if you cannot link it with that of many more, but because they are dispersed, it is difficult to trace that data. Developed countries work hard to integrate them. This is the case, for example, with the UKBiobank in the United Kingdom. We are a bioinformatics company capable of generating the software to share that data, analyze it and put it to value. What AstraZeneca proposed to us is precisely to seek a solution to promote personalized medicine in the region”.

_Bitgenia, the startup chosen by AstraZeneca to develop precision medicine

The idea is to develop a collaborative biobank of genomic and clinical information with laboratories from different countries. “We want to take it to all of Latin America, including Brazil and Mexico,” he adds. It is a scale leap in the amount of data. With that, you have information on people from all over the region, from all the laboratories that want to collaborate. Cohorts of patients with certain mutations can be grouped together and the results of the treatments analyzed. _Bitgenia is a unique company in Latin America and this agreement shows that here we develop technologies that have an international level”.

For the researcher, precision medicine is not about the future, it is already a reality. “What is lacking is integrating the data and facilitating decision-making,” he concludes, “because it will be necessary to decide between dozens of drugs. That is our contribution: we know how to load that data, organize it and develop the algorithms … What comes now is to use all this and calculate what is called scores, both for diagnosis and to know with which medication the chances of success are maximized. Oncology is the most advanced. Also, it is necessary to translate that information into terms that all doctors can understand and develop algorithms that help them in making decisions ”.

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