Biomax Informatics Investing Big to Develop a Knowledge Solution for Mental Health

PLANEGG, Germany–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Biomax Informatics AG will invest nearly 1 million Euro over the next 4 years to transfer its successful systems medicine approach from respiratory and chronic diseases to mental health. The European Commission is co-financing this step with €650,000 as part of the METSY project. In the project, Biomax will provide the knowledge management platform and data integration for consortium partners from industry, research and clinics who are searching for associations between psychotic disorders, lipid metabolism and metabolism-related diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

Biomax will provide their BioXM™ Knowledge Management Environment to integrate and explore existing knowledge sources about brain structure and function, extend them with information about psychosis and genetic factors derived from the BioLT™ literature-mining software, and combine them with data generated within the METSY project itself including brain imaging (combined MRI and PET), metabolite profiling, and clinical data from approximately 500 patients recruited at four sites in Spain, the United Kingdom and Finland.

The resulting semantic network of psychosis-specific knowledge — generated from associations between structures, functions and molecules (genes, proteins, metabolites, etc.) — can be overlaid with patient-specific data. The standardization of information and data provided by the BioXM system enables algorithmic analysis and fosters collaboration with external, large-scale brain imaging and systems medicine initiatives. In particular, the METSY partners will use network inference to identify and evaluate multi-modal blood and neuroimaging biomarkers that could be used to predict and monitor psychotic disorders like schizophrenia in the context of metabolic diseases. If specific disease-associated patterns are detected in the project, the network can be further explored for potential explanations. After validation, the knowledge base can be used to build a decision support system to bring the results directly into clinical practice.

About METSY

METSY (http://www.metsy.eu/) is a European consortium studying the links between psychotic disorders, lipid metabolism and metabolic co-morbidities such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes. The consortium aims to develop neuroimaging and bioinformatics tools to identify possible diagnostic biomarkers of psychosis.

Funded in part by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme, which provided ~€4.23 million of the €5.94 million total budget, the METSY consortium involves seven members who provide the remainder of the funding: VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, University of Turku, Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare, Kings College London, Madrid Health Service, Philips Research and Biomax Informatics.