SOURCE: tranSMART Foundation

tranSMART Foundation

December 16, 2015 13:00 ET

The tranSMART Foundation Expands, Assuming Responsibility of the OpenBEL Project From Selventa

The Tighter Alignment Between OpenBEL and the tranSMART Software Platform Will Further Accelerate Open Innovation in the Life Sciences

WAKEFIELD, MA--(Marketwired - Dec 16, 2015) - The tranSMART Foundation, a non-profit organization providing a global, open-source knowledge management platform for scientists to share pre-competitive translational research data, today announced that it will manage and further develop the OpenBEL project in an agreement with Selventa. Biological Expression Language (BEL) is a language, developed by Selventa, for representing top scientific findings in a standard way to foster collaboration and sharing of these findings. OpenBEL is a member-based community focused on accelerating the pace of open source technology innovation and scientific discovery.

The OpenBEL project becomes the second main project for the tranSMART Foundation, adding to and enriching the original tranSMART software platform. Each project will remain independent, but integration between them will enhance both projects. According to tranSMART CEO Keith Elliston, "In adding OpenBEL to the Foundation, we not only begin the expansion of the Foundation to advance key initiatives that foster the exchange of knowledge in biomedical research, but also bring these two projects in alignment for the direct advantage of the research community."

William Hayes, CTO at Selventa, said, "We are delighted to have OpenBEL become part of the successful tranSMART Foundation. We believe the open source and open data community that tranSMART has created is the best environment to expand the adoption and further development of OpenBEL."

"OpenBEL has made a difference as my lab has been exploring the algorithms and methods of the OpenBEL framework. The first publications show the results of our modelling and mining work based on BEL. OpenBEL plays a major role in AETIONOMY, our EU-funded project that aims at generating a 'mechanism-based taxonomy' of Alzheimer´s disease and Parkinson´s disease. Using BEL, we have created -- and made publicly available -- the largest computable model for Alzheimer´s disease worldwide...and the feedback from the community is very positive. There is great momentum with BEL these days; as biology aims more and more to unravel disease mechanisms and BEL provides the right syntax and the appropriate algorithms to identify them," said Martin Hofmann-Apitius, Professor for Applied Life Science Informatics at the University of Bonn (Germany) and Head of the Department of Bioinformatics at Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing (SCAI) in Sankt Augustin (Germany).

The formal transfer of OpenBEL has been completed. The teams from both Selventa and tranSMART Foundation continue to work through the details. They are planning an OpenBEL launch event in mid-January to discuss the current tools and describe the roadmap going forward for the project.

About The tranSMART Foundation
The tranSMART Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides an open-source, cloud-based, data-sharing and analysis platform that enables scientists at universities, disease foundations, pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies around the world to share pre-competitive data in a way that saves money and time in translating research findings into new therapies and diagnostic tools. Founded to steward the tranSMART platform, the Foundation is headquartered in Wakefield, Massachusetts with Centers of Excellence in Ann Arbor, Mich.; London, England; Boston, Mass.; and Amsterdam, Netherlands. The tranSMART Foundation can also be found on the web at www.tranSMARTFoundation.org

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