Syapse Joins Free the Data! Initiative and Provides Software to Power Participant-Centric Hereditary Gene Mutation Database
Posted by: Syapse 07/29/2013

Following Supreme Court Decision, Open Reference Database of BRCA1 and BRCA2 Breast Cancer Mutations to be Created

PALO ALTO, Calif. and WASHINGTON, D.C., July 29, 2013 – Syapse, the leader in software for bringing omics into routine medical use, announced that it has joined the Free the Data! initiative. This consortium of policy makers, advocacy organizations, individuals, academic centers, and industry aims to fill the public information gap caused by the lack of available genetic information for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, and plans to expand to provide other types of genetic information in an open, searchable database.

Syapse will provide the software infrastructure for the Free the Data! initiative, enabling powerful data mining, visualization, and reporting. Participants will be able to visualize their own variations and clinical data in comparison to those already in the database, while clinicians will be able to utilize variant interpretation in medical interactions. Researchers, industry, and others can utilize Syapse data mining tools to interrogate the variants, interpretation, and evidence, along with clinical data submitted by participants. Participants will have full control over data sharing and privacy preferences of the data they contribute. The campaign shares all variants with ClinVar, the National Institutes of Health public database, unless the participant dictates otherwise.

“Despite national attention on the patentability of human genes, a ruling against gene patentability doesn’t immediately provide broad access to BRCA1 and BRCA2 variants or place them in a public database that will allow for better diagnosis and care,” said Sharon F. Terry, M.A., president and CEO of Genetic Alliance. “Syapse provides the best platform for integrating complex genomics and clinical data from disparate sources, and reporting it in a dynamic and relevant interface to participants and clinicians. We are excited to be using Syapse software to enable all individuals to access genetic mutations and their clinical interpretations in order to improve care.”

“Syapse is pleased to join Genetic Alliance, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), InVitae Corporation, and advocates in the Free the Data! initiative to crowdsource the interpretation of BRCA1 and BRCA2 variants,” said Jonathan Hirsch, Founder & President of Syapse. “Syapse is committed to the free and open interpretation of the genome, but interpreting the genome requires a larger evidence base than any one entity can develop. Pooling genetic and clinical data will rapidly advance medical knowledge of clinically relevant genetic mutations, leading to more effective diagnosis, treatment, and cures.”

Individuals who have received genetic testing and who are interested in participating are invited to go to the Free The Data! project web site at www.free-the-data.org, and follow the instructions to upload test results, set privacy and sharing settings, and answer a brief questionnaire.

Individuals may also send a scan or PDF of the test report form with the personal identifying information blocked to Genetic Alliance by email at freethedata@geneticalliance.org or by facsimile at 202.966.8553.

We encourage individuals, advocacy groups, research organizations, physicians, policy groups, professional societies and industry to join the cause. For more information, please visit free-the-data.org or contact: 202.966.5557 x201.

About Syapse

Syapse is disrupting healthcare by bringing omics into routine medical use. Built on a powerful cloud-based semantic data platform, Syapse applications enable the generation and use of omics profiles in diagnosing and treating patients at diagnostic companies, research institutions, medical centers, and payers. Led by an experienced, multidisciplinary team of entrepreneurs, software developers, and scientists, Syapse was founded at Stanford University and is backed by The Social+Capital Partnership. For more information, please see www.syapse.com.

About Genetic Alliance

Genetic Alliance improves health through the authentic engagement of individuals, families, and communities. Genetic Alliance is the world's leading nonprofit health advocacy organization committed to transforming health through genetics and works to connect consumers to the smart services they need to make informed decisions about their health and healthcare. Genetic Alliance's network includes more than 1,200 disease specific advocacy organizations, as well as thousands of universities, private companies, government agencies, and public policy organizations. For more information about Free the Data, visit http://www.free-the-data.org For more information about Genetic Alliance, visit http://www.geneticalliance.org