Thomson Reuters works with Children's Tumor Foundation to advance research efforts

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The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters, the provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, has announced a partnership with the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF), to further the understanding of neurofibromatosis (NF) research. The aim is to do this by creating schemes that visually demonstrate the main pathways involved in NF and how the organisation allocates funds for research and development.

The Children’s Tumor Foundation is a non-profit foundation dedicated to finding effective treatments for neurofibromatosis, a term for three distinct genetic disorders: NF1, NF2, and schwannomatosis. NF causes tumours to grow on nerves throughout the body and affects one in every 3,000 people. There is currently no known cure and there are relatively few treatment options.

The Children’s Tumor Foundation selected Thomson Reuters to construct disease-funding maps for each of the different types of NF. The project was led by the Thomson Reuters Life Sciences Professional Services team, which started with MetaCore, an integrated software suite for systems biology that includes the industry’s leading, manually curated, database of biological pathways.

Extracting the key biological processes from the disease pathways and then merging them with funding data through the MetaCore Pathway Map Creator software resulted in new pathway maps that give a snapshot of the different biological processes in each of the NF disease types and the list of grants funded by the Foundation. Integrated with the maps are dashboards that show how key areas of the research and development process – such as disease model development, biomarker population studies and development stage, and drug development status – are also funded.

'Creating a clearer understanding of the various aspects involved in neurofibromatosis is key to finding effective treatments for NF and connecting to industry partners who may have drug candidates that are beneficial to our patients,' said Annette Bakker, chief scientific officer of the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

'We are pleased to be collaborating with Thomson Reuters on this project. The visualisations they constructed are helping us achieve our goals by showcasing which aspects of the disorder have been studied most and which areas need to be further developed. The disease maps help us guide our funding strategy and compound scouting efforts.'