Genetic variants indicate that repurposed medicines might help in the treatment of severely ill COVID19 patients, says a study by Pairo-Castineira et al.. The study compared the whole genome datasets of 2,244 COVID-19 patients from 208 intensive care units. The study showed novel genome-wide findings for the genes IFNAR2, OAS1/3, DPP9, TYK2 and CCR2. Whereas some of these genes play a role in the viral immune response and some are associated to host-driven inflammatory lung injury. As COVID-19 is caused by a virus mainly attacking the lungs, these potential target points can be indicators for the repurposing of licensed medications and then be beneficial in COVID-19 treatment. As a result, repurposing medication could speed up the therapy development process, but would still rely on large-scale randomized clinical trials, before any change to clinical practice.[1]

These findings are based on the comparison of a large amount of genetic data. The equivalent of 2,244 whole genome datasets in storage space amounts to more than 100 Terabytes of data if stored in commonly used legacy data formats. Let alone the amount of storage space for the 100,000 Genomes project in the UK. The usage of ISO/IEC-23092 standardized digital formats and GenomSys solutions could drastically reduce the amount of storage required and speed up processing of such large amount of data.

The growing use of genomic data is beneficial to our overall health, providing us with new therapies every day. The increased use has hence generated a need for standardized data structure, efficiently compressed files and high level of security. At GenomSys we combine all of these requirements in our software solutions based on the MPEG-G standard.

Check out the fully paper on Nature Research:

[1] Pairo-Castineira, E., Clohisey, S., Klaric, L. et al. Genetic mechanisms of critical illness in Covid-19. Nature (2020).

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