BOSTON, Oct. 16, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Broad Institute has selected St. Louis-based Appistry, Inc., to distribute to users at for-profit companies the world's most widely used software for data processing and variant calling of next-generation sequencing data, the Genome Analysis Toolkit or GATK, and to provide those users with commercial-grade customer support.
First developed and introduced by the Broad Institute in 2009, the GATK framework provides an open-source, industrial-strength, computational engine empowering the development of analysis tools for next-generation sequencing. Upon this engine the Broad Institute has built a broad set of analysis tools ("Apps") to process data from any next-generation sequencing platform, and to identify changes in the sequences that may be associated with disease. Since its introduction, the toolkit's user base has grown to include thousands of bioinformatics professionals, biomedical researchers, and clinicians from a wide-range of both non-profit as well as for-profit organizations. The GATK has been used on initiatives ranging from the 1000 Genomes Project to The NIH's Cancer Genome Atlas, and by many sequencing centers and leading researchers to conduct population studies and explore the genetic origins of disease.
"Genetic research is changing the face of modern healthcare, and tools like the GATK have been essential in making the reams of data coming off of sequencers actionable," said Appistry Chief Executive Officer Kevin Haar. "We are honored to have been chosen to help the Broad Institute bring GATK 2.0, with customer support, to for-profit users and ensure that it remains an important source of insight in deciphering the genetic code and better managing and treating human disease."
The GATK framework supports a wide variety of tools, with a primary focus on variant discovery and genotyping as well as strong emphasis on data quality assurance. Its robust architecture, powerful processing engine, and high-performance, scalable computing features enable it to take on projects of any size. GATK 2.0 brings significant enhancements over previous releases of the toolkit, including new and more advanced tools for error modeling, data compression, and variant calling.
GATK 2.0 will remain freely available to non-profit users under an academic, nonprofit research license agreement. Appistry will make the GATK 2.0 available to users at for-profit companies under a separate license agreement with a subscription fee that will cover commercial-grade support for installation, configuration, and documentation as well as long-term support for each commercial release. GATK 1.0, now called GATK-lite, will remain free for all users.
"We have been thrilled that the GATK has proven useful to a diverse group of users. However, as an academic institution, we don't have the resources to offer the level of support that many for-profit users of the GATK want and need," said David Altshuler, deputy director of the Broad Institute. "By partnering with Appistry, we are able to continue to provide the toolkit for free to non-profit users, and to continue to extend its capabilities, while also ensuring the kind of support that users at for-profit companies have been looking for."
Brad Fitzgerald Haley Bridger
Appistry orchestrates solutions to big data problems, and since 2001, the company's fabric technology has empowered organizations and researchers to transform vast data into actionable intelligence. Appistry weaves together high performance computing and analytics to provide the throughput and scale required for diverse applications—from discovering new medical therapies to delivering overnight packages, gaining clarity from financial transactions, or deciphering military satellite images. For more information, please visit www.appistry.com and follow us on Twitter@appistry.
About the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was founded in 2003 to empower this generation of creative scientists to transform medicine with new genome-based knowledge. The Broad Institute seeks to describe all the molecular components of life and their connections; discover the molecular basis of major human diseases; develop effective new approaches to diagnostics and therapeutics; and disseminate discoveries, tools, methods and data openly to the entire scientific community.
Founded by MIT, Harvard and its affiliated hospitals, and the visionary Los Angeles philanthropists Eli and Edythe L. Broad, the Broad Institute includes faculty, professional staff and students from throughout the MIT and Harvard biomedical research communities and beyond, with collaborations spanning over a hundred private and public institutions in more than 40 countries worldwide. For further information about the Broad Institute, go to www.broadinstitute.org.
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