Speeding up the commercialization of an extracellular vesicle platform with bioinformatics

FastEV is a project which aims to develop and commercialize an innovative biomarker discovery platform based on extracellular vesicles (EVs) and is funded by Business Finland and the University of Helsinki HiPOC grant. Genevia Technologies helped the research group to understand the impact of the EV isolation environment by combining the multi-omics data gathered from the samples.

FastEV gradient plate

FastEV technology was born in the extracellular vesicle research group of PI Pia Siljander to replace the slow manual work of isolating EVs from liquid biopsies. The aim of the ongoing project is to further develop and commercialize the technology as a range of conditions for isolating EV subpopulations and other components of plasma.

Dr. Maija Puhka, Head of R&D of the FastEV project, says:

– We needed a partner to analyze the mRNA-seq, small RNA-seq, and EVArray data to better understand the types of biomarker combinations the diverse FastEV conditions produce – and to secure funding. We had heard of Genevia from our colleagues. The company was able to provide exactly the kind of combinatorial analysis we needed.

Genevia Technologies complements the expertise of the FastEV team

Bioinformatics is essential in studying how FastEV could be used to isolate a wide range of vesicle outputs for biomarker discovery. The commercial expert of FastEV, Thomas Lemström, suggested choosing a commercial bioinformatics lab to speed up the project and manage the funds.

– FastEV is a biomarker discovery platform, thus a great deal of its value comes from how it can be used to detect different molecular components. We, therefore, needed more information about the components using bioinformatics methods, says Puhka.

– Considering how difficult it is to find available bioinformaticians, it was better to outsource so that we could tackle the bioinformatics part of the project as efficiently as possible. Thanks to the dedicated team from Genevia, we have already learned so much from the data in less than two months, says Dr. Jaana Kekkonen, who also works in the FastEV team together with Puhka, Lemström, and Siljander.

The work has progressed in the best possible way, and the bioinformatics team has provided complementary expertise to the research and development process.

– The Genevia team utilized their previous experience in choosing the best-suited analysis methods and tailored them to our specific needs. It was exactly the type of support we were looking for: they understand what kind of information we need and how to best provide it, summarizes Puhka.

Delivering what is needed is better than delivering only what was requested

Maija Puhka says she was surprised at how efficient the Genevia team is and would recommend Genevia to others.

– The Genevia team has well-structured working methods. When we request additional graphs or analyses via email, they are delivered quickly.

– If there have been any counter-arguments to our wishes, the reasons have been explained very thoroughly. I am happy they do not just execute everything the client asks for, but aim to provide the best methods.

– Genevia’s project manager has kept us very well up to date. We are pleased with how well the communication flows between our teams. We are lucky that Genevia has our back in future bioinformatics needs as well.

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