DNA base pairs in the human genome
How is genome analysis revolutionizing health care? Understanding the genetic behavior of viruses and cancer helps researchers develop better tests and treatments to keep people healthy. Mitsui Knowledge Industry (MKI) is using SAP HANA in-memory computing to analyze DNA samples rapidly and precisely.
Mitsui Knowledge Industry (MKI)
¥51.5 billion (2012)
R&D, Engineering, Information Technology
As one of Japan’s most prominent technology consultancies, Mitsui Knowledge Industry (MKI) has a specialty in bioinformatics; by developing real-time data processing solutions, MKI seeks to help medical researchers develop new drugs for diseases such as cancer.
Bioinformatics combines computer science, engineering, physical science, and mathematics for biomedical applications. MKI develops computational methods and tools for solving laboratory and clinical research issues like time and expense of pharmaceutical development, plus speed and accuracy of cancer detection/treatment in clinical settings.
The success of ambitious research like the Human Genome Project has shown the clinical and business value of analyzing huge amounts of raw data. But when biomedical researchers use “big data” for real-time applications such as rapid cancer screening, large amounts of data and complex algorithms mean results for one patient can take several days.
MKI ran same-query comparisons between SAP HANA and a conventional database, and SAP HANA completed one process 400,000 times faster. MKI saw that SAP HANA could become the foundation for a real-time genome analysis platform by incorporating SAP HANA with R Integration and Hadoop to store, pre-process, compute, and analyze data.
Faster genome analysis
MKI uses SAP HANA to help pharmaceutical companies with genome analysis, reducing the duration and expense of developing drugs that specifically target “driver mutations.” DNA extraction and analysis used to cost up to $1 million. But DNA sequencers and data analysis could bring that cost down below $1,000, according to MKI.
Since a key strategy in cancer prevention is early detection, genome analysis can readily identify people who may have a hereditary predisposition to certain cancers. By using SAP HANA, MKI hopes to lower the cost of such tests. The company also hopes to shorten the time it takes to get results to the patients.
Revolutionizing cancer treatment processes