i2b2 Foundation and tranSMART Foundation Announce Intent to Merge

Joint Organization will Create Single, Open-Source Community to Advance Precision Medicine

WAKEFIELD, MA--(Marketwired - Apr 6, 2017) - The two leading open-source foundations (The tranSMART Foundation and the i2b2 Foundation) in the healthcare and translational research space are merging into a single foundation to advance the field of precision medicine. These organizations provide open-source software and databases representing more than 100 million patient lives to thousands of physicians and scientists worldwide. 

The tranSMART Foundation, a non-profit organization providing a global, open-source, open-data knowledge management platform for scientists at more than 300 industry and academic institutions, and the i2b2 Foundation (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside), a non-profit open-source software foundation overseeing the development and governance of the i2b2 platform used by over 200 U.S. and European hospitals today announced that they have signed a Letter of Intent to merge. The merger of these two foundations will 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, and through the engagement and mobilization of a life sciences focused open-source, open-data community.

"The majority of human diseases lack a proven means for prevention or effective therapeutic intervention. Precision medicine promises to provide insights into the biological, environmental and behavioral mechanisms of disease to produce better diagnoses and treatments for the millions of individuals who need them," said Keith Elliston, Ph.D., CEO of The tranSMART Foundation. "Through this merger, we are creating a platform and community that integrates clinical data with translational research data to finally realize the promise that precision medicine has to offer -- tailoring treatments to an individual's unique characteristics."

"We are looking forward to this merger with the tranSMART Foundation," said Diane Keogh, Managing Director of the i2b2 Foundation. "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. 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."

Together, the combined tranSMART and i2b2 foundations will enhance the synergies between their two distinct data science platforms and will further develop an integrated, open-source platform that spans the clinical and translational research domains. The new organization will build a critical mass in the life sciences community, unite the translational and clinical research communities, enhance the mission to encompass precision medicine, create efficiencies by eliminating duplication of effort, and develop a strong profile and brand for collaboration, fundraising and grants. 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.

About The i2b2 Foundation
i2b2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside) 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. This platform currently enjoys wide international adoption by over 200 hospitals and research centers including the CTSA network, academic health centers and industry. i2b2 is funded as a cooperative agreement with the National Institutes of Health. For more information, visit: www.i2b2.org/index.html.

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 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. 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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Karen Higgins
A&E Communications, Inc.