PLYMOUTH (WWJ) — The National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health issued a Notice of Award granting a Fast-Track Small Business Investigational Research Phase I and Phase II grant of $2.0 million for Advaita to develop biological pathway analysis tools for personalized medicine and drug repositioning.

The three and a half-year program will develop advanced software for the analysis of data from gene sequencing technologies that leverage Advaita’s existing pathway analysis software called Pathway-Guide.

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The new tools being developed will allow for quantitative analysis of gene expression data at the single sample level. Additional capabilities will include the ability to characterize subgroups of patients and subtypes of diseases through the development of a pathway profile.

Advaita has been working under a $2.2 million Small Business Technology Transfer Phase II grant. The $2 million Fast-Track SBIR grant provides $150,000 for the first phase and $1.85 million provisionally awarded for the second phase. The project is anticipated to extend through 2017.

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“This combined Phase I and Phase II SBIR award is strong validation of our new approach to find meaning in the ‘big data’ that come from gene sequencing technologies,” said Advaita founder and CEO Sorin Draghici. “It also validates our ability to innovate new bioinformatics methodologies for targeted sequencing applications. This award will accelerate our development efforts as we continue to enhance Pathway-Guide, the most accurate pathway-analysis tool.”

Andrew Olson, Advaita vice president of business development, added: “The world of genomic research continues to progress at a blistering pace. The cost to sequence a genome continues to fall, but the ability to quickly interpret the resulting data remains a barrier to better understanding diseases and therapies. With this additional funding, we will develop new tools that allow users to identify biological pathways that are impacted in individual patients and samples, discover and characterize disease subtypes and patient subgroups, identify pathway signatures for drugs and conditions, and identify new targets for existing drugs.”

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Advaita is a privately held company in Plymouth, providing software for the analysis of gene-expression data as it relates to biological pathways. The company’s Pathway-Guide software is ideally suited for reliably identifying which biological systems are impacted based on changes in gene expression levels. Additional information is available at