Joint collaboration enables clinical flow cytometry data analysis

Quartz Bio SA, the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (both in Lausanne, Switzerland), and Geneva Bioinformatics SA (GeneBio; Geneva, Switzerland), have developed a platform for the analysis of flow cytometry data. Dubbed MegaClust, the platform provides unprecedented, unbiased, in-depth data analysis in order to assess the safety and efficacy of drugs in clinical trials and identify biomarkers for patient stratification.  Until now, such analysis was a hurdle for pharmaceutical companies and clinical research organizations, as clinical flow cytometry experiments generally contain a large number of samples collected from multiple sources, making curation and manual analysis time-consuming, not systematic, and therefore error-prone.

Related: Flow cytometry: Instruments, components, and impact

MegaClust enables automated, unbiased, and thorough identification of phenotypically similar cell populations in large datasets consisting of many samples. The technology allows reliable, quantitative cross-sample analyses and therefore provides a very powerful tool to stratify individuals and/or to analyze variations in cell subpopulations upon stimulations and candidate treatments.

Jérôme Wojcik, founder and CEO of Quartz Bio, says that “MegaClust achieved comparable quality as manual gating strategies and was in addition capable of identifying additional quality control problems undetected by classical approaches. We believe that the automated and systematic quality control of all files of a flow cytometry experiment enabled by MegaClust is the first instrumental step for a high-quality analysis. For those reasons, we are excited to keep collaborating with SIB and GeneBio in order to support our customer’s Precision Medicine projects with MegaClust."

The collaboration, which began in early 2013, brings together Quartz Bio’s expertise in clinical data analysis and the SIB's bioinformatics expertise. MegaClust is financially supported by the Commission for Technology and Innovation (KTI/CTI), the innovation promotion agency of the Swiss Confederation.

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