Two nonprofit organizations that provide open-source platforms for health science and informatics research have agreed to merge. The tranSMART Foundation and the i2b2 Foundation are merging into a single foundation to advance the field of precision medicine. The two organizations provide open-source software and databases representing more than 100 million patient lives to thousands of physicians and scientists worldwide.
The tranSMART Foundation provides an open-data knowledge management platform for scientists at more than 300 industry and academic institutions. The tranSMART platform enables scientists at more than 300 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
The i2b2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside) Foundation, oversees the i2b2 platform used by more than 200 U.S. and European hospitals.
i2b2 was an NIH-funded National Center for Biomedical Computing at Harvard Medical School, and is currently based at Partners HealthCare System. The i2b2 Foundation has developed a scalable informatics framework that has enabled clinical researchers to use existing clinical data for discovery research and, when combined with IRB- approved genomic data, facilitate the design of targeted therapies for individual patients with diseases having genetic origins.
The organizations said the merger would unite the clinical research community and the translational research community to promote effective collaboration for precision medicine through the sharing, integration, standardization, and analysis of heterogeneous data from healthcare and research. They also hope to mobilize a life sciences-focused open-source, open-data community.
“Bringing our clinical community together with tranSMART’s translational research community through an integrated knowledge management infrastructure will further our mission for precision medicine and ultimately benefit the entire patient community,” said Diane Keogh, managing director of the i2b2 Foundation, in a prepared statement. “Our clinical scientists will benefit from the powerful analytics of the tranSMART platform and the translational research community will gain tremendous value from having access to broad spectrum of clinical data as they develop new medicines.”
The merged foundation will have four ongoing projects: i2b2, tranSMART, i2b2/tranSMART, and openBEL. The foundation will develop additional open-source/open-data projects as the community further develops.