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Better knowledge for better medication and treatments Knowledge has become more and more important for pharmaceutical companies. But to evaluate everything and put it into context thus enabling appropriate decisions, the right computer tools are needed. BioVariance, based in Munich, has specialised in this field. The company’s unique approach brings together medical and biological expertise with data analysis and the development of associated software and IT structures. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN
While the main problem a few years ago was that researcher often did not have any data they could base their research on, today it is mostly the other way round. “We often have a huge amount of data that has to be analysed,” says Josef Scheiber an expert for bioinformatics and founder of BioVariance. Josef Scheiber established the company three years ago after working for two of the largest pharmaceutical companies for six years. Today the company employs more than 20 people – at its 72 | Issue 46 | January 2017
headquarters and works directly with a client in Basel. Putting data into context BioVariance brings together the data and knowledge scientists, medical researchers and physicians have gathered over the years. For new studies and advancing technology and medical procedures, researcher often have to rely on knowledge gathered by colleagues in various studies and research projects. Finding the results
and information relevant for a new study or data analysis is not always easy and experts like those at BioVariance can help to make the search far easier and faster, simply because they have a good overview about what has already been done in various medical fields. What BioVariance does is contextualise for example genetic data and that of certain active substances to deliver a testable hypothesis. Every patient is unique, so knowing which substance acts in what way under which circumstances – especially considering distinctive biochemical processes – is a key factor for successful treatments. One can imagine the human body as a combination of various factors including components like proteins or their unique DNA, but also their medical history or lifestyle. All these factors influence how people re-
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