One of the most rapidly growing areas of pharmaceutical and biotechnology research is the utilization of genomic information. Technological advances and progressively decreasing costs for genotyping have created opportunities to develop better drugs for common diseases and eventually to develop drugs tailored to an individual's genetic profile.

With the increasing availability of data on genetic variation, there is a critical need for better tools to understand and apply the information encoded in this data. Cira is developing these tools based on novel methods of pattern discovery capable of detecting genome-wide patterns of genetic variation.

These variations often occur as Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), locations on the genome where individual nucleotides may take on different values. It is estimated that there are roughly 10 million SNPs in the human genome. Analysis of SNPs can lead to:

  • the identification of genetic causes of diseases; and
  • inherited traits that determine differences in the way humans respond to drugs.

Cira's approach to pattern discovery is capable of detecting genome-wide patterns of SNPs. Among these patterns will be collections of SNPs responsible for diseases, traits, and drug responses even though the individual SNPs comprising the patterns may have no discernible correlation.