There are few things in the world that can unite people quite like the universal burden of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. A company located on the German border near the Czech Republic remains wholly dedicated to the ongoing fight to erase these diseases forever. After its recognition as a Leading Innovator in AI-Based Personalised Medicine Solutions 2020 – Germany, we shine a light on the work of BioVariance GmbH in this latest issue of Acquisition International.
When someone becomes sick, physicians usually draw on the common range of medicines and pills. Paracetamol, Ibuprofen and other household drug brands will help most people overcome a headache or other minor aches. However, for the severe cases, such as cancer or neurodegenerative diseases, there is a rapid and strong need to find the right type of medicine that patients will potentially respond to. It is this need that the team of BioVariance have sought to address, by analysing complex biomedical and genetic data from patients to ensure they receive a personalized treatment. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Waldsassen, Germany, BioVariance’s multidisciplinary team consisting of software developers, biologists and data scientists develops innovative AI solutions for precision medicine in the healthcare, biotech and pharmaceutical sectors.
In cooperation with oncological clinics, laboratories, pharmaceutical companies and physicians all over the country, BioVariance offers long-term monitoring of molecular changes in patients to predict the effectiveness, side effects and drug interactions of specific medications. The company also helps to determine the optimal medication and dosage for each patient individually. Achieving this level of information is not easy at all and requires the combination of profound knowledge with state-of-the-art automatization and parallelization techniques, machine learning and mathematical algorithms to analyse complex biomedical data.
The vision of BioVariance is shared by people all over the world: the eradication of complex diseases and the increase of survival rates by making cancer and neurodegenerative diseases as treatable as the common cold. The company totally focuses on the improvement of patient’s health and quality of life by analysing and interpreting his biomedical data. Working at the junction of some of the most modern technologies, BioVariance represents the fusion of molecular genetics, big data and artificial intelligence that enables personalized care as never before.
For the multidisciplinary team this work is more than just a job. The work culture is characterised by technological advancement, insatiable curiosity and open-mindedness, based on five core values: integrity, responsibility, collaboration, professionalism and innovation. Rather than seeking to maximise profits, BioVariance values patient care above everything else and strives every day to save human lives.
BioVariance offers its services to pharmaceutical companies, physicians and patients themselves. Pharma companies are supported in the analysis of complex molecular biological and biomedical data by using state-of-the-art techniques to identify fundamental correlations across all biological levels, from DNA to metabolites. The application of machine learning, neuronal networks, mathematical algorithms and statistical methods in combination with existing clinical data ensure the high quality of the analytical results.
All results are validated by searching comprehensive medical literature, with the patient’s data being compared with data already existing in the fields of biology, pharmacology and medicine. By understanding, identifying and evaluating biological markers and molecular signatures, pharma companies can be prepared more than ever to develop new effective drugs and personalized treatments.
These personalized applications are then transferred to the other two focus areas of BioVariance: the physician and the patient. For physicians, the company aims to provide more efficient options when a personalized treatment is required. The goal of personalized medicine is to determine the most suitable medication in the optimal dosage for each patient individually. This is rarely easy, however. Doctors and physicians all over the world depend on correct medical diagnoses that consider the personal characteristics and circumstances of a patient’s life, as well as their genetic and molecular biological background. Comprehensive and accurate genetic analyses can ensure that physicians prescribe only the most effective treatment and avoid wrong prescriptions which lead to strong side effects in the worst case. This is where BioVariance comes in.
Analysing individual genetic characteristics and then comparing them with global literature can help physicians and hospitals optimize therapy and adapt it to the specific needs of the patient. Attending physicians and hospitals all over the country and worldwide can access comprehensive reports that contain information about the patient’s diagnosis, current therapies, previous medications and the results of BioVariance’s genetic analysis. Additionally, information about possible side effects and drug interactions that may occur during certain therapies support the selection of an effective treatment.
Considering genetic impacts, physicians and hospitals can avoid non-responsive therapies, eliminate potential side effects, raise survival rates, increase patients’ satisfaction and save valuable time in the treatment process. The genetic fingerprint of an individual helps determine how it may react to a certain treatment or medication. By tailoring therapies, BioVariance helps alleviate patients’ concerns by ensuring their therapy is designed specifically for them.
A challenge of any therapy is the independent intake of medication; another factor the team of BioVariance has carefully dealt with. The company’s mobile app Pillbox reminds patients to take their medication at a specific time and in the correct dosage. Further, the app documents the therapeutic process, symptoms and side effects to inform the attending physician whether an exchange of medication or an adjustment of dosage is necessary. Being a technical marvel, Pillbox also comes with a diary function, an integrated barcode scanner for an easy addition of drugs to the treatment plan and a chat function allowing direct communication between patient and physician.
Cancer and neurodegenerative diseases are undoubtedly some of the greatest medical concerns of our time, but some that the community is actively working towards addressing every single day. For today’s diagnosed patients the wonders of modern medicine and technology represent more than just a chance. It represents hope. Hope for a brighter future, where families are no longer torn apart by death and disease. Hope that, one day, these diseases will be nothing more than a distant memory.
Company: BioVariance GmbH
Contact: Dr Josef Scheiber