Eagle Genomics and Earlham Institute agree to microbiome research alliance

By Will Chu

- Last updated on GMT

©Eagle Genomics
©Eagle Genomics

Related tags: Eagle Genomics, Earlham Institute, microbiome

A partnership between the UK’s Eagle Genomics and the Earlham Institute aims to generate deeper microbiome-based insights with the development of new microbiome multi-omics datasets and tools

Announced last month, the agreement looks to harness Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyse, explore and exploit complex microbiome data in what is very much a data-driven collaboration.

“At Eagle, we’re using network science and world-leading AI tools to unlock the potential for innovation from complex multi-dimensional microbiome data,” ​explains Dr Andrew Tingey, Senior Director, Global Licensing and IP Strategy at Eagle Genomics.

“Our new partnership with the Earlham Institute will help support the global microbiome R&D community while shaping the future of metagenomics, linking world-leading bioinformatics pipelines, tools, and datasets.”

“We are delighted that the Earlham Institute is partnering with us, on our journey towards creating an open platform for data innovation.”

Research objectives of the agreement intend to focus on investigating new pipelines and directions, particularly classification and reconstructions of genomes in complex environments.

Other areas of collaboration includes global patterns of antimicrobial resistance found in microbes and investigations into the persistence and evolution of human associated microbes.

The e[datascientist]

At the heart of the collaboration is Eagle Genomics’ platform ‘e[datascientist],’ which combines AI, a data valuation engine and visualisation to navigate through microbiome-based data.

By discovering links between this data and applicable multi-omics data, the platform looks to further advance current knowledge of links between the microbiome and the digestive and immune system, amongst other relationships.

The platform was the subject of a multi-year platform agreement​ with US giants Cargill and its Health Technologies business in May 2020 to garner deeper insights from microbiome data amassed over the past decade.

The agreement with Norwich-based Earlham Institute is along similar lines as Dr Liliya Serazetdinova, Head of Business Development and Impact at the Earlham Institute explains.

“This partnership is part of a big data revolution in terms of how multi-omics data will be accessed and analysed - combining open science and commercial R&D to benefit each partner and society.

“Eagle Genomics’ e[datascientist] platform gives our scientists the opportunity to share their work more widely, establish new connections, and use it as a testing ground - interrogating and integrating new datasets, as well as developing new tools and pipelines - to further advance our research and apply to the biotech industry.

“We’re really excited to be working with Eagle Genomics and look forward to seeing how this platform evolves and involves more partners in the coming months.”

Eagle Genomics’ partnerships

Eagle Genomics adds that it is currently in discussions with other organisations in possible partnerships involving its platform.

Any pacts made will add to agreements already struck with Reckitt Benckiser in March 2020, where the multinational was looking ​​for help in producing new products for consumers, particularly in research areas such as the microbiome.

The collaboration was preceded by a partnership​​ formed with Microsoft Genomics in October 2018, which served to meet computational challenges of genomics research.

Last year, Eagle Genomics’ bioinformatics developer Greet De Baets, described the potential of probiotics and products focused on the gut microbiome, as a reason to be ‘very optimistic,’ ​with 'good studies that show it is possible to enhance the health of the gut microbiome.’​

“If we can identify links between the microbiome and conditions such as depression and autism and come to truly understand those relationships in a causal way, that would be incredible,”​ he said.

“There is huge potential and, if these connections prove to be causal, we can really improve the health of human beings and our ecosystems.”

“Eagle Genomics’ industry-leading open platform is helping drive the digital reinvention of life sciences R&D across numerous industries, from AgBio and food through to healthcare, personal care and beauty,” ​adds Anthony Finbow, CEO of Eagle Genomics.

“Our partnership with the Earlham Institute is a clear demonstration of our commitment to enable a radical, global shift in microbiome science-led innovation.

“By harnessing nature - including its complex networks and associated multi-dimensional data - we can help tackle the world’s Grand Challenges while unlocking significant economic potential."

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