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Precision Medicine and Health at BioTherapeutics

BLACKSBURG, VA: June 24, 2016 – Diabetes. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Clostridium difficile-associated disease.

These and a host of other diseases and syndromes have become increasingly difficult to treat using conventional methods that do not take into account individual genetic, environmental, and lifestyle differences. The “one-size-fits-all” approach to healthcare no longer works. More and more, we are faced with the challenge of learning how to treat the individual, as opposed to populations or treatments that respond only to a subset of the population.

BioTherapeutics (BTI) is synergistically combining computational tools with preclinical and clinical experimentation to accelerate precision research, which seeks to treat disease on an individual level. Researchers and clinicians are joining forces in leveraging the power of these computational technologies to find new ways of addressing these challenges.

“The ability to seamlessly integrate big data and theory across complex information processing architectures offers unforeseen opportunities to transform the precision medicine, health, and wellness paradigm. This asset will improve healthcare delivery systems worldwide, from molecular networks to entire populations,” said Josep Bassaganya-Riera, President and CEO of BTI.

In an article in Frontiers in Nutrition, BTI researchers discuss how modeling-enabled systems help us find the answers to some of most pressing questions underlying mechanisms of action at the interface of microbiome, nutrition and immunity.

For instance, BTI scientists have seen that the absence of H. pylori in the gut may be implicated in diabetes and obesity, and there are results from other studies to suggest that the gut microbiome and changes in glucose metabolism may have an important role to play in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

To deepen our understanding of how all of these systems intertwine, we use an array of high-throughput technologies, high performance computing, and computational modeling. The NIH/NIAID Center for Modeling Immunity to Enteric Pathogens (MIEP) at Virginia Tech is a $12 million project led by Dr. Bassaganya-Riera that uses modeling computational approaches to study mucosal immune responses to infectious disease.

The MIEP models have recently been highlighted as the Model of the Month on the BioModels Database and were also featured in the Stanford Biomedical Computation Review article “Computing the Gut.” Future articles on the hybrid career paths of immunologists interested in computational modeling are forthcoming.

“BTI’s modeling infrastructure enables the study of immunity at an unprecedented scale and speed by simulating signaling pathways, immune responses, metabolic networks, cytokine diffusions, cell movements and tissue-level lesion formation with trillions of interacting components at the gut mucosa, and integrating spatiotemporal scales spanning from nanoseconds to years, from molecules to cells, and into synthetic patient populations and clinical cohorts.” said Bassaganya-Riera. “These open source computational capabilities have applications both in fundamental immunology research and accelerating the development of new nutritional and pharmaceutical products for widespread and debilitating diseases. BTI synergistically combines modeling and experimentation to advance the development of new products for glycemic control, immune health, gut health, diabetes, and IBD.”

About BioTherapeutics Inc.

BTI Informatics, a division of BioTherapeutics, develops disruptive first-in-class therapeutics for inflammatory bowel disease. BTI’s multifaceted approach synergistically combines the power of computational modeling with preclinical and clinical experimentation to accelerate the path to safer and more effective treatments for debilitating and widespread human diseases with unmet clinical needs.

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