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The Physiomics Approach to Systems Biology

The generation of sophisticated mathematical models of biological systems requires a highly specialised team of experts in mathematics, biology and computer science. Physiomics’ models are built from extensive literature research (the Physiomics library is over 5500 articles at last count). The scientific literature is critically evaluated by team members with specialized theoretical and practical biological expertise. The models then require construction and parameterisation through the interaction between mathematicians, computer scientists and biologists. The models therefore represent the combined expertise of the Physiomics team.

Physiomics works together with our partners, including in close collaboration with partners’ wet-lab experimentalists. The process is iterative with the modelling work directing experiments and experiments in turn directing model development. Proprietary data used to calibrate the models and/or to produce predictions are stored confidentially in our high-security systems for the duration of the projects, and client-specific model versions are stored separately away from the rest of the model portfolio.

Collaboration with Physiomics delivers many benefits to our clients ultimately resulting in a more efficient drug discovery process, reducing costs and shortening development times.

Physiomics plc is currently focussing primarily on the field of oncology (cancer research) and is working with a variety of industrial partners to support their decision making processes.

Physiomics’ Cancer Expertise

Cancer is thought to occur primarily due to an imbalance between cell proliferation (based on the cell cycle) and cell death. Abnormal changes in genes central to the cell cycle or cell death machinery or in the genes regulating them (e.g. growth factor signaling pathways) can result in inappropriate cell proliferation or a lack of cell death, this in turn causing a tumour to form. There are a great many genes involved in these and understanding their interplay and role in the systems as a whole necessitates a systems biology approach.

Physiomics model portfolio includes detailed cell cycle, apoptosis (cell death) and growth factor models running in cell population simulations. Furthermore, we also simulate drug concentration-time courses in the tumour using our proprietary ModelPlayer™ simulation platform. A combined pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modelling approach also allows us to predict the effect of the administration of different anti-cancer drugs by different routes of administration, and to optimise dosage scheduling.