Oracle teams with Oxford University for rapid detection of COVID-19 variants

COVID-19 vaccine container and syringe
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Oracle and the University of Oxford have developed a global pathogen analysis system (GPAS) to help governments and medical communities cope with new COVID-19 strains.

Powered by Oxford's scalable pathogen pipeline platform (SP3), Oracle APEX, and Oracle cloud infrastructure (OCI), GPAS allows standardized genome data analysis and comparison for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Early adopters of the system include the University of Montreal Hospital Centre Research Centre, the Institute of Public Health Research of Chile, Oxford Nanopore Technologies, and more.

GPAS, which is available as a free resource, has also been integrated into Public Health England's New Variant Assessment Platform.

Researchers and governments are reportedly using the system to stream pathogen data in an effort to track new COVID-19 variants. With users’ consent, test results can be made accessible to participating labs worldwide.

The cloud-based system can also integrate with existing sequencing infrastructures and data repositories to enable seamless tracking of pathogens. GPAS also features built-in computational infrastructure, relieving labs of building and operating their own.

According to reports, the upcoming version of GPAS will include enhanced scalability and data-sharing functionalities.


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"GPAS is the first industry standards-based service anywhere in the world, offering a standardized sequence data analysis service for users on the cloud," said Derrick Crook, professor of microbiology at the University of Oxford's Nuffield Department of Medicine.

Crook added, "Users will be able to access, upload and process their sequence data fully under their sovereign control and receive back fully analyzed data in as little as 20 minutes of successful upload. If they select to share data, they will contribute to electronic dashboard visualizations of global data revealing the daily changes in the way the pandemic is progressing and how the virus is changing. This will enable continuous assessment of the pandemic and help guide national and global interventions to curb the impact of the virus."