IBM Watson, Illumina Partner to Simplify Genomic Data Interpretation

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Google Cancer Research

IBM Watson Health and Illumina are teaming up to standardize and simplify genomic data interpretation by integrating Watson for Genomics into Illumina’s BaseSpace Sequence Hub and tumor sequencing process. Genome sequencing has increased in recent years following two decades of research demonstrating the promise of precision medicine. However, access to these advances has been limited by the significant time and expense required to interpret the genomic data.

By integrating Watson for Genomics with Illumina’s sequencing platform, researchers who use Illumina’s cancer genome sequencing panel will have rapid access to information to help interpret the broad array of variant data produced by TruSight Tumor 170.

“This partnership lays the groundwork for more systematic study of the impact of genomics in oncology,” said Deborah DiSanzo, general manager, IBM Watson Health in a statement. “Together we are poised to help researchers realize the potential of precision oncology by expanding access to valuable genome sequencing from Illumina and reliable, standardized genomic interpretation from Watson.”

Integration Details

Illumina’s TruSight® Tumor 170 is a solid tumor profiling panel designed to detect a comprehensive set of variants across 170 genes. In a matter of minutes, Watson for Genomics will read the genetic alteration files produced by TruSight Tumor 170, comb professional guidelines, medical literature, clinical trials compendia, and other sources of knowledge to provide information for each genomic alteration, and produce a report for use by researchers — a process that typically takes scientists more than one week to complete. Watson for Genomics ingests data from approximately 10,000 scientific articles and 100 new clinical trials every month.

The Watson for Genomics software will be available to support Illumina’s TruSight Tumor 170 assay early in 2017.