Biomax provides the text-mining and knowledge management infrastructure for the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme Mechanisms of the Development of Allergy (MeDALL) project. The MeDALL project aims to do the following:
The results of the project will help to improve the quality of life of people with allergies through early diagnosis, improving prevention strategies and developing new cost-effective treatments for allergic disorders.
Systems medicine is the holistic approach to a patient’s care. It incorporates evidence-based medicine with the interactions between all components of health, disease, human genetics, environment and behavior.
In the project, MeDALL researchers seek to identify and validate biomarker profiles (“fingerprints”) for allergy disease. Relevant fingerprints will be combined into network biomarker phenotype “handprints” using a Systems Biology approach and validated in a sufficiently powered sample. Animal studies and in vitro human immunology will reinforce the validation. This information coupled with classical and novel phenotypes will be used to characterize environmental factors for allergy and risk groups. Results will be fitted into new integrative mathematical models to establish suitable biomarkers for early diagnosis, prevention and targets for therapy of allergy-associated diseases such as asthma and atopic dermatitis.
Biomax provides the text-mining and knowledge management infrastructure to support the MeDALL consortium. It uses the BioXM™ Knowledge Management Environment to structure and semantically integrate the diverse information provided by the consortium, which includes experimental data such as DNA expression and methylation, patient data including symptoms and environmental factors from several large birth cohort studies, and text-mining extracted literature data about allergies. The BioXM system will be used to create a knowledge network based on information gathered by cross-sectional and birth cohort studies, including data on more than 42,000 children born between 1992 and 2007 across Europe. In a second phase of the project, 18,000 of them will be re-examined using a common protocol.
In addition, Biomax will establish standard operating procedures (SOPs), data formats and quality metrics for the MeDALL project. The BioXM knowledge management infrastructure will support these activities by connecting partners, ensuring adherence to SOPs, joining data generation with analysis and supporting the collaborative workflow within MeDALL. It enables secure, access-controlled querying, visualization and retrieval of integrated data by multiple sites, and provides connection to analysis tools.