Tuesday, February 5, 2008

BioWindows...do I smell a Buy-O UhOh?

So I was looking at the scrolling news on the right side (left side for the MDs) of my blog. Yes, I do review some of the stuff on my blog. I found this interesting company that I was perplexed by. It is called Iris BioTechnologies. They have a "magical" product called BioWindows. I say magical because obviously they have not disclosed who in the hell they came up with their technology. They are going to beta this month and launch in the late spring.

What is BioWindows? From the site:

BioWindows is a very sophisticated artificial intelligence program that analyzes the genomic information from our nano-biochips. Comparing this information with a central repository of genomic profiles, patient survey profiles and reference data provides appropriate treatment scenarios for a variety of pathological conditions, ailments and diseases. We, as human beings, function best in a wholesome environment and your genes are no different. What you eat, drink and breathe and possibly think and feel impacts how your genes do their jobs. We all have disease predispositions and accumulate non-inherited mutations and inheritable epigenetic tags during our lifetime but the environment and our lifestyles also play their part in pushing us over the edge to disease.

By uncovering underlying lifestyle and environmental patterns and interfacing them with genomic profiles from our nano-biochips we hope to be able to pinpoint specific environmental and lifestyle triggering causes that may be pushing you and others from health to disease. Personal data, and the genomic data from our nano-biochips, will become part of an ever-growing international database to assist scientists in their search for personalized causes and cures for the many diseases that affect us.

So I have a few significant questions.

1. How in the hell do they come up with their treatment scenarios? I would like to see some more data on this? Even crazier. Is this web program designed to diagnose and treat? Because it would be pretty impressive to get FDA approval for that.

2. What does Sophisticated mean?

3. This material is "password" protected which is key. But it sounds like your data may be released to a 3rd party...hmmm, I hope it is completely de-identified, as best it can.

4. I imagine this will set up for a whole host of diagnostics for them. Yup.

The Sherpa Says:
One thing's for sure. I like 23andMe's educational videos a hell of alot better than Iris' Genomics 101. Seriously, I think this would be a great database for someone like George Church to use. But I don't think we should be enticing patients to pay to participate in research, we should be paying patients for research. In a true capitalist nature, what if we offered stock options to each participant? Now THAT my Nature Genetics friends is what I call a "Personal Stake" It is much more noble than stock options for the investigators.


Anonymous said...

Has the big news been released yet?

Steve Murphy MD said...

As Yoda would say.... "Patience"

Misha said...

I have heard some very smart and powerful folks talking about research participants "monetizing" their samples. One could argue that if personal genomics companies were to share their customers' data with pharma and/or academia, that is exactly what they would be doing.

Steve Murphy MD said...

Tell me more....