Roslin-based University of Edinburgh scientists' tech spinout aims to ‘democratise data’ to boost medical research

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have launched a spinout company that aims to democratise genetic data access and cut from days to minutes the time it takes to analyse millions of genetic records.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 6:00 am
Dr Oriol Canela-Xandri of the MRC Human Genetics Unit, within the Institute of Genetics and Cancer.

Omecu Ltd promises wide-ranging benefits in drug discovery and personalised medicine, while improving patient data security. The company draws on three years of research led by Dr Oriol Canela-Xandri at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, within the University of Edinburgh’s Institute of Genetics and Cancer, and Dr Konrad Rawlik at the University’s Roslin Institute. It has been launched with the support of Edinburgh Innovations, the University’s commercialisation service.

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Dr Canela-Xandri, who is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University, said: “Our ambition is to create a paradigm shift where disease experts without a computer science background are able to easily query fragmented data sets, while cutting costs and without requiring the data-holding organisation to expose the data itself.”

Dr George Baxter, CEO of Edinburgh Innovations, said: “Genomic data holds great promise for humanity, and the Omecu team have found a way to make it far easier for clinicians to make use of that data. We’re extremely proud to help to launch a company with such potential.”

Professor Wendy Bickmore, director of the MRC Human Genetics Unit at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Having a rapid way to extract useful knowledge from large genomic datasets will accelerate new discoveries and new treatments for human disease.”