Press Releases

Annai Systems to Support International Challenge to Improve the Detection of Cancer Mutations
Annai-GNOS™ to integrate Hitachi storage solution to provide whole-genome cancer data to competing international research teams in new DREAM Challenge.

LOS GATOS, CA  November 18, 2013 – Annai Systems Inc., a genomic data management solution provider, today announced that it is providing its genome data management platform to host a scientific competition aimed at improving the identification of cancer mutations. The project emphasizes Annai’s leading role in genomic data management and its commitment to advancing medical genomic research. “Being able to leverage Annai Systems’ proven software and capabilities to host this data set is a logical extension of Annai’s involvement in cancer related data repositories. They continue to demonstrate their ability to advance the field by addressing key data management related challenges,” said Josh Stuart, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz and one of the organizers of the competition.

The DREAM (Dialogue for Reverse Engineering Assessments and Methods) Challenge pits the world’s top cancer research teams against each other as their competing algorithms vie for the most effective detection of cancer-causing mutations. “The outcome of this project will be a set of methods that will enable the broader cancer research community to dramatically improve the way cancer-causing mutations are detected,” added Stuart.

The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project are jointly organizing the DREAM ‘Somatic Mutation Calling (SMC)’ Challenge, the latest in a series of DREAM Challenges. Seattle-based Sage Bionetworks will provide software for sharing data between the study’s collaborators and incorporating results from their analyses.

The DREAM SMC challenge engages a diverse community of scientists to compare algorithms and define a ‘best-of-breed’ cancer mutation detector. Each competing team must prove its own algorithm’s efficacy within the relatively short time window allotted for the challenge. All the scientific data, tools, scoreboards and resulting predictive models they generate will be made freely available to the public and other researchers.

The bottleneck in cancer research is the accurate detection of DNA mutations and rearrangements that cause cancer. Current studies agree only in about 20% of their predictions. Progress is sorely needed in standards for evaluating mutation detection algorithms and in improving the performance of these crucial algorithms.

Dream Challenge participants will use Annai’s GeneTorrent software for high-speed file transfer when accessing the data for subsequent analysis. Annai Systems has partnered with Hitachi to provide the storage hardware to facilitate data upload, access, and metadata management.

A group of leading cancer researchers from ICGC and TCGA specifically chose the Annai-GNOS data management platform, to host the cancer genome data set for this important initiative. Annai-GNOS is the same product used by the NIH-funded Cancer Genomics Hub (CGHub), a 740 terabyte repository of cancer genome data. “The leadership committee’s decision to use Annai-GNOS is further validation of Annai’s leading role in enabling genomics research through data management”, said Michael Penley, CEO of Annai Systems. “We are honored to take part in this effort that will result in more effective calling methods for cancer-causing mutations and will eventually advance our understanding of the genetic underpinnings of cancer,” said Penley.

About Annai Systems
Annai Systems is a leading genomic data analysis company committed to developing cost-reducing innovations the accelerate scientific discovery, maximize statistical power, and optimize data control. From data compression and storage to secondary and tertiary analysis, Annai Systems offers a true end-to-end solution designed to handle the complex needs of next-generation sequencing data in the clinical, pharmaceutical and research environments. The company’s flagship product, STARPlatform, enables researchers to innovate, collaborate, and make new discoveries – all in less time and at lower costs than traditional solutions. For more about Annai Systems, visit