Biotia and Partners Develop Tracking Platform to Help Prevent Public Health Crises
Biotia launches technology platform to identify, analyze, track and forecast global health threats.
MIAMI BEACH, Fla., Nov. 19, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- At the 7th Annual MetaSUB Conference, Biotia, Inc. announced that it is launching beta testing of its new technology platform to identify, analyze, track, and forecast infectious disease threats and global health trends. In this initial development phase, Biotia will engage with early users to test the platform using real-world genomic data. Biotia will work together with Weill Cornell Medicine, MetaSUB, The Rockefeller Foundation, Fiocruz, Biomedical Informatics at ETH, Environmental Sciences Initiative at City University of New York and other key partners to continue developing the platform toward a full launch and global rollout in the coming months.
The partnership expands the collaboration with MetaSUB, a nonprofit organization launched by Dr. Chris Mason, cofounder and global director of Biotia, that conducts microbial tracking and mapping work in global urban and medical settings. MetaSUB has a cross-referenced biobank of samples that provides a broad view of dengue and other emerging pathogens, used to integrate baseline data and create a longitudinal microbial map of the world.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has made it crystal clear that we need to prepare for health threats with real-time, global data that allows us to make informed decisions based on molecular data. Our new platform will generate a more complete picture of emerging disease threats, specifically highlighting changes from climate, mapping vector-borne/zoonotic diseases, and building cross-domain computational models," said Dr. Mason. "As we work toward launching this platform, our hope is to detect the next health threat, respond accordingly and save lives."
After the devastating effects of COVID-19, the world is in urgent need of a global system that can vigilantly track emerging pathogens and monitor for the spread of infectious diseases, particularly as climate change increases the risk of new outbreaks. To meet this need, Biotia's new technology integrates climate, genomic and epidemiological data with machine learning models to better track health threats and predict future crises.
Climate change is projected to cause an additional 250,000 global deaths per year between 2030 and 2050 from heat stress, malnutrition, dengue, and other mosquito-borne diseases. Vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria account for more than 17% of all infectious diseases, and the distribution and transmission of these diseases is increasing with regional changes in temperature and humidity levels.
The team is working with partners across the world — including with Dr. Rafael Maciel de Freitas at Fiocruz in Brazil — to catch mosquitos and analyze data on dengue, Zika virus and SARS-CoV-2. As part of this effort, >1,000 Brazilian mosquito samples have been collected and are being sequenced with data to be released on the new platform. This pilot dataset will provide comprehensive information to key stakeholders and decision-makers to better understand how to decrease transmission of these viral diseases.
"We are building an international infrastructure to enable shared data on the sequence variation of pathogens across the globe," said Dr. Niamh O'Hara, cofounder and CEO of Biotia. "The new platform will offer small teams with limited resources the technology to sequence their samples, quickly understand, gain access to sophisticated bioinformatics tools and share data with a growing international network. We also envision that the system will include regular reporting to researchers, policymakers, health ministers and other stakeholders to quantify risk, inform decision-making, and elicit effective public health responses from officials at the national, regional and global levels."
To join the community of alpha users testing the platform visit geoseeq.com.
Note to Editors
Interviews are available with Dr. Niamh O'Hara, CEO and cofounder, or Dr. David Danko, CTO at Biotia.
Biotia is a health-tech company located in New York, NY, that leverages sequencing-based technology and proprietary AI-powered software to rapidly and accurately identify microorganisms and antimicrobial resistance. Their mission is to fight infectious diseases by deploying the leading reference library of microbes worldwide. As a spinout company of Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, Biotia has a New York State CLIA lab for infectious disease diagnostics testing affiliated with SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University.