The company will license and analyse the Oxford Endometriosis Gene (OXEGENE) dataset to identify novel drug targets and develop new personalised treatments for those suffering with the condition.
Endometriosis is a chronic disease associated with severe pain and infertility. It affects 10% of women globally, but how and why it develops is unknown. On average it takes over 7 years for patients to receive a diagnosis and there are currently no approved diagnostic biomarkers or cures for the disease.
The OXEGENE dataset contains anonymised genotype data including disease stage and infertility status, from 1,000 surgically confirmed patients.
According to PrecisionLife, its combinatorial analytics platform is unique in its ability to analyse patient data to better understand the causes of complex chronic disease and achieve mechanistic patient stratification to enable precision medicine where it has not previously been possible.
In analysing the OXEGENE data, the techbio firm hopes to identify the genetic differences in people with endometriosis and the mechanisms driving their disease, to reduce the time to a more personalised diagnosis for patients.
PrecisionLife also aims to find novel drug targets for these disease mechanisms with biomarkers linking them to the patients who will benefit from the development of new treatments.
Professor Krina Zondervan, co-director of the Endometriosis CaRe Centre, University of Oxford, said: “Endometriosis is a major health issue affecting women’s lives. PrecisionLife is a leader in identifying innovative ways to consider the joint effects of combinations of genetic risk variants that may identify biological drivers of complex diseases like endometriosis. We hope that the analysis of our data will lead to the development of precision medicines to improve the lives of patients."
Dr Steve Gardner, CEO of PrecisionLife, added: “We're delighted to collaborate with the University of Oxford’s internationally recognised leaders in endometriosis. Our analysis of the OXEGENE dataset will be crucial in replicating our earlier findings and advancing the mechanistic understanding of endometriosis to improve prediction, prevention, and treatment for millions of women around the world.”
In addition, both PrecisionLife and the University of Oxford are partners in the FEMaLe (Finding Endometriosis using Machine Learning) EU Horizon 2020 project, which aims to enable the delivery of precision medicine in endometriosis and improve quality of life for patients.
The partnership comes after PrecisionLife’s ‘ground-breaking’ analysis, presented by professor Mette Nyegaard at the 15th World Congress on Endometriosis in May 2023, identifying the first biological subtypes of endometriosis, shedding light on distinct patient subgroups defined by combinations of genetic risk factors.