Cambridge-headquartered Repositive has pooled human genomic data from highly regarded global sources including big public repositories such as Array Express, Gene Expression Omnibus, EGA, dbGaP, as well as lesser known sources such as GigaDB.
A company spokesman said: “Currently, genomic data is stored in a number of different databases meaning researchers may have to individually access each one to search for and filter for the specific type of data they are after.
“By using the Repositive platform, they can perform a single search and immediately find the data that match their criteria” he said, adding that the portal also gives researchers the chance to make interesting genomic information available to the wider community.
“Researchers may be seeking for collaborators to access their own data, and the platform allows the users to submit data descriptions to the Repositive index to advertise the availability of the data.
“Finally, the platform also allows for seeking out new sources of data, so a researcher looking for something specific that is not yet available would be able to request this from the global genomics community.”
My DNA, my data
Ownership of and access to an individual’s genomic data is an important issue for developers of personalized medicines and patients.
In April a UK DoH study indicated Britons want to access to their own DNA data to assess disease risk. The authors also suggested people may be willing to engage with drug developers if it results in new treatments, but they said more research is needed.
Repositive – which was founded in March – is conscious of both the potential of sharing genomic information and of privacy concerns.
The spokesman told us “Repositive is developing tools and technologies to facilitate both the application process and the easy extraction of privacy-preserving analytics from datasets within a collaboration.”
He added that these tools – which will be launched next year – “will be made available as premium services and may be tailored to enterprise customers who have an interest in shortening the time for data access and increase data reuse within pre-competitive collaborations without compromising on data privacy or giving away IP.”