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Harvard School of Public Health Steps Up Collaboration with Golden Helix on Bioinformatics Development

Bozeman, MT (September 21, 2010) — Today, Golden Helix, Inc., a global leader in genetic analysis solutions, announced a collaboration with Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) under which Golden Helix is refactoring PBAT, HSPH’s software for studying disease heritability in families.

PBAT (Pedigree-Based Association Tool), originally developed eight years ago by Dr. Christoph Lange of HSPH, is an extensive array of advanced statistical routines used in the design and analysis of family-based SNP and CNV association studies. Though a command-line version of the software is available from the university free of charge for academic use, several years ago HSPH granted Golden Helix an exclusive license to develop and distribute a commercial version of the software. At the onset of this partnership, Golden Helix created a graphical user interface to PBAT as well as extensive documentation, all of which are now incorporated into the company’s SNP & Variation Suite (SVS) 7.

Over the last six months, Golden Helix has been working with HSPH researchers to fundamentally rewrite the original PBAT code, providing the additional software engineering expertise required to dramatically improve performance on large-scale data, and to build a more robust code base that will streamline the implementation of new methods.

Gabe Rudy, Golden Helix vice president of product development, said “Working ‘under the hood,’ so to speak, we were able to build a platform that facilitates method improvements, runs faster, is more stable, and eliminates parameter constraints. Users will now be able to analyze larger family structures on more than one marker at a time, and with more options for interaction variables, thereby increasing the power to detect disease heritability.”

“Collaborating with academia to accelerate the adoption of new analytic methods is an important focus of ours. The goal is to integrate them into a full-featured, user-friendly package, increasing both usability and adoption,” stated Andy Ferrin, EVP of business development at Golden Helix. “It has been rewarding to work with Dr. Lange and his team in that context, and we look forward to continuing our long and fruitful partnership with Harvard School of Public Health.”

About Golden Helix
Golden Helix is a leading bioinformatics organization, specializing in SNP and copy number analysis, genetic association software, and analytic services. Our innovative technologies empower scientists to determine the genetic causes of disease, transform drug discovery, develop genetic diagnostics, and advance the quest for personalized medicine. Used by hundreds of researchers at the world's top pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic research organizations, Golden Helix products have been cited in over 300 peer-reviewed publications.

About Harvard School of Public Health
Harvard School of Public Health is dedicated to advancing the public's health through learning, discovery, and communication. More than 400 faculty members are engaged in teaching and training the 1,000-plus student body in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children's health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to international health and human rights. For more information on the school, visit: www.hsph.harvard.edu.


Media Contact:
Jessica Vionas
Marketing Coordinator
Golden Helix, Inc.
406-585-8137 x214

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