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Strand releases AI NGS platform Ramanujan to aid in disease prevention, diagnostics

Our Bureau, Bengaluru
Friday, March 31, 2017, 17:45 Hrs  [IST]

Strand Life Sciences has announced the release of version 3.0 of its flagship, next-generation sequencing (NGS) data analysis and visualization platform, Ramanujan which is driven by artificial intelligence. Benchmarked against the world’s best, major enhancements in this release have led to significant improvements in accuracy, precision and speed of NGS data analysis at scientists’ fingertips.
 
This latest release adds considerable value to the Strand stack of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered bioinformatics and text mining, as applied in NGS data analysis that underpins clinical variant interpretation and reporting.
 
Over a period of 15 years, Strand has continuously built on and leveraged its proprietary AI platform, christened ‘Ramanujan’ after two great intellectuals of Indian origin: S. Ramanujan (1887-1920) the genius mathematician who greatly contributed to number theory which has regained new significance in the age of computer technology and A.K. Ramanujan (1929-1993), the literature scholar and linguist extraordinaire.
 
The key highlight of this Strand NGS v3.0 release is a DNA-Seq workflow that is 1.5 to two times faster than the BWA-GATK best practices workflow including increased accuracy for variant calling with precision/recall rates as high as 99/ 98% on the entire call set and 97/ 92% on InDels, and powerful visualizations for each step that are not present in GATK.

Other improvements include a  ‘one shot pipeline execution option’ to help researchers and core facilities complete reiterative NGS analyses in just a few clicks. There is an improved  RNA-Seq workflow processing speed with observed speedups of up to 110% in RNA transcriptome alignment.

In addition, it provides full support for HGVS notation to describe variants in standard international nomenclature of variant reporting and information exchange in DNA diagnostics.

“Anticipating the latest developments in genomics and healthcare, we have  become a global leader in providing cutting-edge platforms for scientists, clinical laboratories, hospitals and doctors. The platforms span next-generation genomics data analysis, clinical variant interpretation and reporting, said Dr. Vijay Chandru, chairman and managing director, Strand Life Sciences.
 
Today, Strand Ramanujan is used to enable clinicians to integrate phenotype information with all other clinical reporting for more effective application in monitoring and screening of disease progression and recurrence, he added.
 
In partnership with India’s largest cancer specialty hospital network, Health Care Global (HCG), Strand Ramanujan will create a clinical genomics data bank that will advance genomic medicine in oncology.
 
Strand Ramanujan is representative of India’s ability to produce world-class AI platforms to aid in disease prevention, diagnostics, and treatment, and capable of competing with the likes of IBM Watson Health and GE Predix. At the core of Ramanujan, is Strand’s proprietary natural language processing (NLP) platform Grammatica that powers its  products, including the market-leading gene expression analysis software GeneSpring marketed by Agilent Technologies, Inc), Strand NGS, and StrandOmics.

 

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